When Jimmy Smith died in 2005 at age 77, he had been for the previous half-century jazz’s Once and Future King and Undisputed Heavyweight Champ of the Hammond B-3 organ. While there certainly were jazz organists before him, the self-taught Smith split the atom. Nobody played with his fire and speed (hands and feet), accuracy, inventiveness, drive, and thrilling virtuosity.
The nine numbers herein find Smith’s late-period powers undiminished. At the core of this set’s repertoire is the blues, of which he was a Life Master. There are burning reconsiderations of such trademark tracks as "Midnight Special," "The Sermon," and "Back at the Chicken Shack," and on four numbers, live and in-studio, he’s winningly reunited with longtime colleagues Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, and Grady Tate. The incredible Jimmy Smith forged the template that will continue to inspire jazz, blues, and rock organists for decades to come.