Soul Stream

1965 Downbeat Reader's Poll Best Organist

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Place Votes

1. Jimmy Smith 3705

2. Shirley Scott 488

3. Jack McDuff 185

4. Wild Bill Davis 154

5. Clare Fischer (wtf?) 154

6. Count Basie (?) 119

7. Larry Young 112

8. Don Patterson 86

9. Groove Holmes 68

10. Freddie Roach 56

11. Ray Charles (?) 50

12. Jimmy McGriff 39

13. Mel Rhyne 39

14. Joe Mooney (wtf?) 37

15. Earl Grant 36

16. John Patton 36

Pretty interesting. According to the magazine, Larry Young, Don Patterson, Jimmy McGriff, Mel Rhyne and John Patton had never even been in the top results until that year!

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Smith smashes the competition!

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Place Votes

6. Count Basie (?) 119

Wasn't this about the time that Basie made an album for Impulse with him on organ? Not that it explains such a high spot in the rankings, but those yearly polls can be unduly responsive to short-term influences (I wonder if he was even on the list for the previous two years or the two years following, give or take).

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Those 36 guys who voted for John Patton back in 1965 must have been really cool cats! :g

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It's amazing Patton polled so low. An indication I guess of just how few of those early BN NY USA imprint Patton albums actually sold.

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It's amazing Patton polled so low. An indication I guess of just how few of those early BN NY USA imprint Patton albums actually sold.

soul stream probably mailed 35 votes for BJP

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Well, if you think about it...Larry Young put out UNITY in 1965 and placed 2 spots behind Clare Fischer for chissakes! So, I'm not surprised John placed so low. As a matter of fact, previously I had heard he had never placed in a Downbeat poll....so, I'm not sure if he ever placed again or if I was misinformed.

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Well, if you think about it...Larry Young put out UNITY in 1965 and placed 2 spots behind Clare Fischer for chissakes! So, I'm not surprised John placed so low. As a matter of fact, previously I had heard he had never placed in a Downbeat poll....so, I'm not sure if he ever placed again or if I was misinformed.

Unity was RECORDED in 1965, but I'm guessing it didn't come out until 1966. So I doubt any of the readers had heard it.

Guy

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Well, if you think about it...Larry Young put out UNITY in 1965 and placed 2 spots behind Clare Fischer for chissakes! So, I'm not surprised John placed so low. As a matter of fact, previously I had heard he had never placed in a Downbeat poll....so, I'm not sure if he ever placed again or if I was misinformed.

Unity was RECORDED in 1965, but I'm guessing it didn't come out until 1966. So I doubt any of the readers had heard it.

Guy

Just pulled my 'Unity' vinyl out and I think you're right - it has a '37-66' anniversary inner sleeve for a 1966 issue.

I guess 'Into Somethin' would have been out in 1965.

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Yeah, I guess so...but you would have thought at least Into Something and Grant's "Talkin' About" albums would have put him past Clare Fischer... :g

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No Lonnie Smith?

Not in 1965.

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What I am struck by is the sheer number of votes in this poll--close to 4,000. I think that the down beat Readers Polls in recent years have received only a few hundred ballots.

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Those 36 guys who voted for John Patton back in 1965 must have been really cool cats! :g

Everybody not voting for Smith was a cool cat back then!

p.s. Clare Fischer is a very good organist IMHO - he's pretty off mainstream as far as his registrations etc. are concerned. I still have to get me a copy of So Danco Samba, but his playing on Manteca and the Tjader LPs is very hip.

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I think it's safe to say that the "typical" Down Beat reader of 1965 was not an organ and/or Soul Jazz connoiseur. Jimmy Smith might well have been the only organist they were really familiar with.

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Those 36 guys who voted for John Patton back in 1965 must have been really cool cats! :g

Everybody not voting for Smith was a cool cat back then!

p.s. Clare Fischer is a very good organist IMHO - he's pretty off mainstream as far as his registrations etc. are concerned. I still have to get me a copy of So Danco Samba, but his playing on Manteca and the Tjader LPs is very hip.

Clare Fischer is not an organist. He's a pianist that played organ here and there. Big difference.

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...also from my 1965 issue of Dowbeat...

...the Ad Lib section which tells what's happening in each of the major jazz cities...

Pittsburgh- Organ trios continue to be the rage among Pittsburgh's young jazz fans, who flocked to The Hurricane in early November to hear Shirley Scott with Stanley Turrentine's group followed the next week by Grant Green's group with John Patton and Ben Dixon.

....oh those were the days I guess... :D

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And another thing: I don't see a problem with the majority voting for Jimmy Smith. In 1965, he was at the peak of his powers and putting out great records.

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Those 36 guys who voted for John Patton back in 1965 must have been really cool cats! :g

Everybody not voting for Smith was a cool cat back then!

p.s. Clare Fischer is a very good organist IMHO - he's pretty off mainstream as far as his registrations etc. are concerned. I still have to get me a copy of So Danco Samba, but his playing on Manteca and the Tjader LPs is very hip.

Clare Fischer is not an organist. He's a pianist that played organ here and there. Big difference.

Admitted - but I still like his playing ... and I think for a part-time organist he's doing pretty original things on the instrument. In fact, I like him better as an organist than as a pianist - I'm not such a big fan of the Tristano school he loosely belongs to.

Edited by mikeweil

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And another thing: I don't see a problem with the majority voting for Jimmy Smith. In 1965, he was at the peak of his powers and putting out great records.

Jimmy dominated that catagory fooooorever. And rightly so. I mean the gap between number one and number two was huge for many, many years. I don't think any other single musician dominated their catagory throughout their career as much as Jimmy did.

I was actually surprised at how many votes Shirley Scott got at number two. And Jack McDuff was right in the mix too. Right on Brother Jack!

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Does anybody have a 66, 67, 68, 69 or 70 readers poll? I'd like to know the results of the organists for those years. I'm curious is Patton every rose higher. Especially after albums like Let Em Roll, That Certain Feeling, Accent on the Blues and Understanding came out.

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No Johnny Hammond Smith either, and yet he had done over ten albums since 1959.

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Milt Buckner? Where's Milt Buckner? I'm not suggesting he should be at the TOP of the list, but...

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It's cool that Shirley Scott placed so high on the list. I'm assuming her albums were relatively successful commercially? (Since there are about 1000 of them...LOL)

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Does anybody have a 66, 67, 68, 69 or 70 readers poll? I'd like to know the results of the organists for those years. I'm curious is Patton every rose higher. Especially after albums like Let Em Roll, That Certain Feeling, Accent on the Blues and Understanding came out.

The 1966 DB Readers Poll:

1- Jimmy Smith... 3,720

2- Groove Holmes...598

3- Shirley Scott... 339

4- Larry Young...308

5- Don Patterson...179

6- Jack McDuff... 168

7- Count Basie... 147

8- Wild Bill Davis... 113

9- Clare Fischer... 86

10- John Patton... 55

11- Jimmy McGriff... 48

12- Ray Charles... 47

13- Earl Grant... 42

14- Walter Wanderley... 41

15- Joe Mooney... 39

Give me time and I should be able to dig up results from the polls thru 1970 (which was the year I stopped subscribing to DB).

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