15 April 2006


A monster of an album from the Mizell brothers! Johnny "Hammond" Smith began his career as a simple soul jazz organist but by the time of this album, he'd teamed up with the mighty Larry Mizell, the genius arranger/producer who'd breathed new life into the careers of Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey. Mizell works with Hammond in the same way he does with other jazz artists by taking a groove that works best with their solo style, and slowly layering other instrumentation and effects on top of it, so that when the solo kicks in, it's supported on waves and waves of funky sounds and soulful grooves. Mizell and his brother Fonce both play keyboards on the record, and the rest of the group includes great fusion players like Harvey Mason, Roger Glenn, Hadley Caliman, and Jerry Peters. The real treat is Johnny, though as his solos are heavenly, the best of his 70s work, stripped mean and lean, laid in at just the right points.Ripped from the original vinyl.



Richard said...

You're on a roll! Thanks for the amazing shares - it's real treasure.

Agent Double-O-Soul said...

Very funky side of Johnny Hammond !!

xmnr0x23 said...

Damn, this is good! 1.5 stars over at Allmusic?

"In 1975, this music sounded pretty weak; over two decades later, it is extremely difficult to sit through, making one wonder why it was reissued on a 1996 CD."

I don't get it... Unless this reviewer wants to keep it a secret?


GeeeFlat said...

Hey there!

Aaaaaah the Mizell brothers. Amazing. Such a cut trhough, so much standing out, production pioneers. One album that you may consider putting here is "gambler's Life" on salvation, featuring the amazing "starborne" track, and the monstruous-copied-so-many-times "fantasy". Not just because it's my favorite LP of all time, but because it is of historic value: Johnny "Hammond" Smith (source: sleeve notes) STOPPED playing the hammond for the fiirst time and played the RHODES, which unlike the hammond, fetaures a dynamic Keyboard. Having been made to play this new instrument by the Mizells, his discovery was a revelation... and that's when he decided that from now on he would play the piano. or the Rhodes. He did not change his name to Johhny "rhodes" smith, but the mix of his interpretation on the piano, coming fronm the Organ, is absolutely special and unique, both from the right AND the left hand perspective, and makes for an amazing LP. Let alone the Mizell's outstanding production (but where's the news...).

ilias said...


vdubluu said...

Another Mizell masterpiece!! Just like Satin Doll (Bobby Humphries) and numerous others recordings on Fantasy records in the mid/late 70's. Sweeeeet!

BOBBY BEAU said...

johnny hammond,mizell brothers,bobbi humphreys etc
30 plus years and still sounding so fresh brilliant thank you!!