Jazz Scene USA – 1962

Jimmy Smith

A rare chance to see organist Jimmy Smith and his trio stretching out in 1962

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Jimmy Smith revolutionized the organ in jazz, moving it from its use as a novelty instrument, making it bluesier, and showing that it could be a powerful force in bebop and soul jazz.

In the years since Smith burst upon the scene in 1956, virtually every organist had to use his playing as a starting point before developing their own individual approach.

In 1962, Oscar Brown Jr. hosted a wonderful series of half-hour television programs called Jazz Scene USA.

In this episode, Brown is the genial host as Smith, guitarist Quentin Warren, and drummer Donald Bailey stretch out on “Walk On The Wild Side,” “Mack The Knife,” and a hard-swinging version of Dizzy Gillespie’s “The Champ,” setting the standard for the jazz organ trio.

-Scott Yanow


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