Groovin' at Smalls' Paradise (Gatefold)
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Jimmy Smith’s unparalleled skills with the Hammond helped to popularize the electric organ as a jazz and blues instrument, and he recorded prolifically during his long career. A perennial poll winner since the late ‘50s, Smith redefined the instrument. His new sound utilized the first three draw bars and the percussion feature of the Hammond B-3. Recorded live in 1957 at the Smalls’ Paradise club in New York, this LP showcases Smith in a trio format backed by guitar and drums.
Live at Smalls’ Paradise, New York, November 15, 1957.
One of the most renowned jazz photographers of all time, Francis Wolff (1907-1971) was also a record company executive and producer, whose skills were essential to the success of the Blue Note record label. Born Jakob Franz Wolff in Berlin, Germany, he soon became a jazz enthusiast, despite the government ban placed on this type of music after 1933. A Jew, in 1939 he left Berlin, where he had worked as a commercial photographer, and established himself in New York. He began working there with his childhood friend Alfred Lion, who had co-founded Blue Note Records with Max Margulis. The latter soon dropped out of any involvement in the company, and Wolff joined Lion in running it. Wolff took thousands of photographs during the label’s recording sessions and rehearsals. His highly personal visual concept would be forever associated with both Blue Note and jazz as a whole.