One of The Godfathers of the Jazz Organ
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 01/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days, pre-JOS (James Oscar Smith, a.k.a. Jimmy Smith) organ players don't get as much attention as they deserve,even if they were the architects of the sound. Jimmy Smith was NOT the first Jazz organist - - what he was was the man who lead the organ into the modern age (just when SOUL Jazz was starting to emerge) - - he created a more horn like sound, and fit it into the context of a modern Jazz ensemble sound. Its been said that JOS came from a Bop traidion. - - The pre-Jimmy Smith players came from the Count Basie/swing tradition (though in McDuff and Hank Marr's playing you hear a lot more of the Basie thing, but in the context of JOS's developments.) As for Buckner, Jackie Davis, Wild Bill and the others, basically they did two things... they sometimes played bass with it (JOS's bass line has a deep Wild Bill Davis Influence), and they swung with it, using rich chord voicings to emulate Basie type horn lines. - - With that said, Milt Buckner's major contribution to the piano and organ (the latter of which he's heard on on this album) is his locked hands approach to soloing. His pieces swing, though they tend to be more "hot" than cool. His style is flamboyant... thick greasy chords flying left and right... listen carefully and hear Milt grunting in the backround. He's accompanied by drums, a bass player (freeing his hands up to do his trademarked locked hands voicings) a guitarist, Illinois Jacquet is on sax. This album happened to be Milt's last... he past shortly after the recording was made. - - Its fun swinging and energetic, and for that I recommend it, however, it would be a mistake to COMPARE what he does to Smith, DeFrancesco or Don Patterson. Listen with a Fresh ear, and you will enjoy this album to great delight. After you get this, look in to the new Wild Bill Davis reissue, or even listen to some Count Basie. Milt Buckner was a true master who exhuberently drew all the steam and colors from the Hammond and plaid with all his heart and soul."