Friday, April 10, 2015
#45friday ("Shifting Gears", 1975)
This week's RIDDIM & GROOVE classic tune is: "Shifting Gears" by Johnny Hammond (Milestone, 1975). The artist originally born as John Robert Smith was not only a conventional jazz musician but a master when it came to playing the Hammond B-3 organ. When he was signed by the legendary Kudu label in 1971 he decided to change his name to Johnny Hammond, leaving his second name out and dropping his last name "Smith" in order to avoid confusion with jazz guitarist Johnny Smith. After leaving Kudu a couple of years later, Johnny Hammond also widened his instrumental repertoire including also electric pianos like the Fender Rhodes. This change is best reflected in "Shifting Gears", a song that was later featured on the canonical "Ultimate Breaks and Beats" compilation series and sampled by many rap artists such as Hieroglyphics, Steatsasonic or the Jungle Brothers.