Johnny "Hammond" Smith was one of the uncrowned kings of the B-3 organ. Like Jimmy Smith (no relation) and Brother Jack McDuff, Johnny Smith (1933-1997) began as a pianist, but made the switch to the electric instrument in the 1950s. The two LPs paired here were recorded towards the end of his 1959-1970 stay at Prestige Records. Like a number of fellow organists, Smith found himself increasingly drawn to Sixties soul hits that had crossed over to the pop charts--tuneful, rhythmic material like "Knock On Wood" and "The ‘In’ Crowd." Both were covered convincingly on Ebb Tide, as were other pop favorites and some staple-diet funky blues. Here Smith led a sextet featuring, among others, tenor man Houston Person and Jimmy Smith’s former guitarist, Thornel Schwartz. Nasty is a top-notch straight-ahead date by a stellar quartet (with Person again aboard) whose guitarist, John Abercrombie, now a major post-modernist, cut his teeth with Smith.
with Virgil Jones, Houston Person, Thornel Schwartz, Jimmy Lewis, John Harris, John Abercrombie, Grady Tate