Stimulation and Opus de Funk, the two LPs paired herein, were recorded in 1961, when jazz organ groups had reached their initial pinnacle of popularity. Although the masterful organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith (1933-1997) never achieved the wide-scale commercial success of once and future B-3 king Jimmy Smith, he did amass a lengthy discography that’s long on swinging blues and R&B, choice standards, eerie ballads, and, as his career progressed, danceable crossover funk. One hallmark of "Hammond"’s sound in the early Sixties, in addition to his lyrical approach to the keyboard, was that he favored the organ/vibes/guitar front line heard in this set, rather than the organ/guitar/tenor saxophone configuration favored by the majority of "soul-jazz" bands. Thus, the leader, vibist Freddie McCoy, and gritty-toned guitarist Eddie McFadden (best known for his previous work with Jimmy Smith) came up with lighter-toned ensembles than were commonly associated with organ-dominated units, yet in no way did the group sacrifice the uptown funkiness synonymous with the instrument. And when ex-Ellington bassist Wendell Marshall joins drummer Leo Stevens in the rhythm section for this set's last seven selections, Opus de Funk gains additional springy swing.
with Freddie McCoy, Eddie McFadden, Wendell Marshall, Leo Stevens