A Johnny Hammond
2-fer – a pair of very early albums, back to back on a single CD! First up is Talk That Talk – subtle early magic from Johnny Hammond
Smith, and the kind of sweet organ jazz set that really set Smith apart from his contemporaries in the 60s! There's a slightly offbeat
vibe here that's hard to peg, but which already marks Hammond
as one of the more inventive players of his generation – never content to just rehash R&B modes for jazz organ, and instead really exploratory in terms of timings and phrasings – using his instrument to great effect in a hip combo that features George Tucker on bass, Art Taylor on drums, and Ray Barretto on congas – plus some excellent tenor from Oliver Nelson on three tracks! Titles include "Talk That Talk", "Bennie's Diggin", "Portrait Of Jennie", "An Affair To Remember", "The End Of A Love Affair", "Riptide", "Misty", and "Minors Allowed". Getting The Message is a vibes and organ delight – a rare early set from Johnny Hammond
Smith, and a date that features a key appearance from vibist Lem Winchester! Winchester only cut a handful of dates before shuffling off this mortal coil far too soon – and he's a hell of a player, with a richly chromatic tone that works beautifully next to Smith's organ lines – a pairing that's quite different than other organ/
vibes duos you might know from the time, and one that's got to be heard to be fully appreciated! There's a complexity here that we love, even when things are straight and swinging – and titles include "Lid Flippin", "Getting The Message", "Princess", and "Dementia".
(Out of prnt.)