Jimmy Smith's much copied jazz technique on the Hammond B-3 organ really came about when he was unable to find anyone to teach him the ins and outs of the instrument when he made the transition from piano to organ in 1955. Naturally he started out trying to play it like a piano, but luckily Smith, who had played bass in school, instinctively understood the importance of keeping a walking bassline on the foot pedals, as well, and as he began to work out the various stops, he developed the quick, nimble blues-based style that served him well for the next 50 years, a style that has influenced every B-3 player on the planet. Sounds of Jimmy Smith was recorded in a three-day session beginning February 11, 1957, at Manhattan Towers Studios in New York when Smith was in the second year of his Blue Note contract. Producer Alfred Lion recorded Smith in a variety of formats over the three days, and while that included Smith's usual trio approach (his working band at the time consisted of Donald Bailey on drums and newcomer Eddie McFadden on guitar), he also recorded Smith solo and in various group settings with guest players like Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley, and Kenny Burrell. The results were sprinkled over Smith's next four of five albums, including this one, which features Blakey on two tracks. Truthfully, Smith was really at his most relaxed and innovative in the trio setting, and although the unaccompanied "The Fight" that is included here is striking, spooky, ominous, and churchy as all get out, it really falls outside of what he normally played. Sounds of Jimmy Smith, even with the three bonus tracks that are added here, isn't exactly essential, but like all of Smith's Blue Note albums, it is charming, at times subtly innovative, and always listenable. It is worth the price of admission alone just to hear Smith and Blakey try to out-race each other on "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," which gallops along at an incredibly brisk pace.
Personnel: Jimmy Smith (organ); Eddie McFadden, Thornel Schwartz (guitar); Donald Bailey, Art Blakey (drums).
01 There Will Never Be Another You
02 The Fight
03 Blue Moon
04 All the Things You Are
05 Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart
06 Somebody Loves Me
07 First Night Blues (Bonus Track)
08 Cherokee (Bonus Track)
09 The Third Day (Bonus Track)