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Today in Music – Dec 16, 1933 – Johnny “Hammond Smith was born!

When I started writing these birthday pieces my jazz world was limited. Since then I have added a lot more artists to my music library, today’s artist will be another. Born on this date in 1933 was Johnny “Hammond” Smith. From Wikipedia:

John Robert Smith (December 16, 1933 – June 4, 1997), also known as Johnny “Hammond” Smith, was an American soul jazz and hard bop organist. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he was a renowned player of the Hammond B-3 organ so earning “Hammond” as a nickname,[1] which also avoided his being confused with jazz guitarist Johnny Smith. Full Biography

From 1959 to 1979 Johnny Hammond as he was known later in his career released over 3o albums mainly on Prestige, Riverside, Creed Taylor’s label Kudu, and Milestone. His first album for Taylor, “Break Out” was chosen that year to launch Kudu. The album featured Grover Washington Jr. as a sideman prior to the launch of his career as a solo recording artist

From Wikipedia,Later in his career:

His style had become increasingly funky as he adapted to the style changes in music, culminating in two popular albums with the Mizell Brothers, “Gambler’s Life” (1974) for the CTI offshoot, Salvation and then in 1975, “Gears” after switching to another jazz label, Milestone Records. He began using electric and acoustic pianos, starting with “Gambler’s Life”, in addition to his signature instrument. Hammond’s song “Shifting Gears” was featured on the breakbeat compilation Ultimate Breaks and Beats, and was also featured in the soundtrack of the 2006 video game Driver: Parallel Lines as well.

Read More at: AllMusic and All About Jazz

Here’s ” The Sin-In” from his 1967 album “Gettin’ Up”