I just read in Newsweek that Jimmy Smith passed away recently, and was saddened both by the news and the fact that it seemed to go relatively unnoticed. Jimmy was a revolutionary jazz organist, who brought a distinct funkiness to the world of jazz and helped to make the organ a legit jazz instrument.
On a personal level, it meant a lot to me, as he was one of the artists responsible for my interest in jazz in the first place. His song "Walk on the Wild Side" (no relation to the Lou Reed song, BTW) was on a jazz compilation disc that my dad had. I heard this song and fell in love with it, and the disc became mine. It still stands as one of my all-time favorite jazz songs. The sampler disc is no longer in print, but you can get the song and his other best songs on Jimmy Smith’s Finest Hour, which is my favorite greatest hits compilation.
Also, if you want to find out more about Jimmy Smith, visit my favorite music info site (anyone got any others as good or better?) at Allmusic.com.
Keep on jazzin’