In fact nicknamed after his instrument, Johnny “Hammond” Smith was maybe one of the most underrated soul-jazz organists from the style’s heyday. Created John Robert Smith in Louisville, KY, on Dec 16, 1933, Smith started learning piano as a kid, idolizing Bud Powell and Artwork Tatum in early stages. After shifting to Cleveland, Smith noticed jazz body organ pioneer Crazy Expenses Davis and made a decision to change instruments; he produced his professional debut for the body organ in 1958, around once he was operating as an accompanist for vocalist Nancy Wilson. In 1959, he started recording like a innovator for Prestige, a link that could last through 1970 and make highlights like this Good Feelin’, Chat That Talk, Dark Coffee, Open Home, Ebb Tide, and Spirit Talk, amongst others. As period passed, Smith’s design got gradually funkier, and in 1971, he shortened his name to Johnny Hammond and shifted to maker Creed Taylor’s CTI label family members. Hammond documented five jazz-funk albums on the next 3 years, including Breakout, Crazy Horses/Rock and roll Steady, as well as the Mizell Brothers-helmed Gambler’s Existence. In 1975, Hammond shifted to Milestone and documented the culmination of his transfer to jazz-funk, Gears, another cooperation using the Mizell Brothers which was reviled by purists and canonized by acidity jazz fans. Following a few even more classes for Milestone, Smith mainly retired from jazz, settling in Southern California and buying property. He began documenting sporadically again within the ’90s, but was stricken with tumor and passed away on June 4, 1997.