The Incredible Jimmy Smith - Back at the Chicken Shack (1960)
I'd never heard of this cat before, but I was immediately intrigued by both the braggadocious album title and the humorous cover photo. Whoever this "incredible" Jimmy Smith gentleman might be, he definitely grabbed my attention from the get-go. The music behind the image was absolutely not what I expected. The central focus of this all-instrumental album is the legendary roller-rink sound of Mister Hammond's Organ. The Book says this is the first ever album of "soul jazz" and I guess that moniker kind of fits, but more than anything this reminds me of a kind of embryonic version of Booker T and the MG's, with a hint of the type of music that would explode out of Jamaica a few years later with the likes of Jackie Mittoo and The Upsetters. Fans of these Kingston superstars should find this album very enjoyable, as I did.
Had I heard this before? No.
Do I like it? Yes.
Am I keeping it? Yes.
Standout tracks? "Minor Chant", "When I Grow Too Old To Dream"