15 April 2006
JOHNNY HAMMOND - GEARS
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.