Back in the late 1940s, Jimmy Smith was just another WWII vet, attending the Hamilton School of Music on the GI Bill. As he progressed into a fairly good R&B piano player, a fellow piano player named "Wild" Bill Davis introduced Smith to a new instrument: the Hammond B-3 organ.
Smith paid a local Hammond organ dealer $1 an hour to practice on the instrument. Working in jazz, gospel, and R&B to create "soul-jazz", Jimmy soon became a revolutionary figure in music and was crowned "King of The Hammond B-3 Organ".
After Jimmy's successful 10 year run on Blue Note Records ended, he went to work on the Verve label and as the title of this album states, indeed it was Christmas '64 when it was released.
As I type these words, I'm listening to the CD on my computer. I wish there were words to describe what I'm listening to! From the first drumbeats on the timpani and orchestra, you are drawn in. Jimmy then hooks you with incredible licks on the organ, locking you in place!
The whole album is so sweeping, jarring, and in-your-face! And it's great Christmas music as well! Where else can you find a rocking 5:22 version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"?
This CD was my steal of the season! Released shortly before Christmas last year, only one Fort Wayne store carried this CD at the low, low price of $22.99! Copies of this CD were selling on eBay in the $15 - $20 range. I found this at a used CD store near Chicago for $5.00! Watch for this one next Christmas; no Christmas collection should be without it!
On to the next new album in my collection...