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This album is among the last recordings made before Jimmy Smith died early in 2005. The 79 year old master of the Hammond B-3 organ was brought in by DeFrancesco, more than forty years his junior and responsible for continuing and expanding upon the instrument's place in the jazz tradition. The pair had recorded a live set previously (Incredible!, released in 2000), but with this set DeFrancesco wanted to create a studio album that would celebrate Smith's strengths within a sympathetic setting. The younger organist plays piano on a number of the tracks, but more than half of the disc is devoted to dual Hammond performances. It's a mark of their skills, and the warmth and clarity of the recording, that each of their organs is identifiable throughout. --David Greenberger
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If you're new to the heavenly joys of Hammond B-3's, this is a great place to start; the old guard, as represented by Jimmy Smith, plays well with and hands over the reins to the new guard, represented by Joey DeFrancesco. The Philly sound is there throughout the cd, loud, strong, & occasionally funky. Joey's from South Philly and Jimmy was from the nearby Norristown, PA.
If you're already a Jimmy Smith fan, all in all, this is a fabulous piece of music for the departed Smith to go out on and certainly a cd to bookend your Smith collection.
For Hammond B-3 players & organ jazz addicts - tune up the volume and listen carefully to the organ sound on "I'll Close My Eyes" and switch to the same melody on the Jimmy Smith "Organ Griders Swing" album (Verve)....and judge by yourself the sound quality of the Hammond New B-3 (digital B-3 version). Even with all marketing gossip from Hammond Suzuki company, the New B-3 organ sounds totally flat, no personality and warmth, without any of the dynamics like the original Hammond B-3. The Hammond B-3 is NOT reborn.....yet! But they're getting closer.....