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erik neuteboom View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hammond Extravaganza Part 2 : A HAMMOND S
    Posted: November 20 2007 at 12:56
 
 
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT .....

           

 

....THE HAMMOND ORGAN

                    “From a poor man’s pipe organ to

                     a progrock musician's big band

 

PART ONE:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2 : The history of the Hammond organ

Chapter 3: How does the Hammand organ and Leslie box work? By PA member Pierreolivier

Chapter 4: The heavy weighted Hammond models on the small catwalk

 

PART TWO:

Chapter 5: A personal Hammond story: a meeting with my hero Thijs Van

                  Leer

Chapter 6: ‘Hammond Heroes’: pioneers, masters and specialists on the Hammond organ

Chapter 7:  1967-2007 Fourty years of Hammond sounds in progressive rock

 

PART THREE:

Chapter 8: Quotes about the Hammond organ by Dutch progrock musicians

                 (from Rick van der Linden to Thijs van Leer and Ton

                 Scherpenzeel)

Chapter 9: My favorite Hammond organ drenched CD’s and DVD’s

 

PART FOUR:

Chapter 10: A Hammond story by PA member and jazz specialist Dick Heath

Chapter 11: PA members about the Hammond organ and their favorite

                   Hammond Albums: Jim Garten, Ozzy Tom, Jimmy Row, Easy

                   Money, Rivertree and Dalt99)

Chapter 12: This is not a Hammond organ! (about the Farfisa, Gibson and

                    Vox Continental organs)

Chapter 13: Sources of information

Chapter 14: Interesting links

 

 

 

 

       I would like to start with Part One, the

       other three parts will follow in the
       forthcoming days. 

 

 

   THE HAMMOND ORGAN

 

                 “From a poor man’s pipe organ to

                    a progrock musician's big band

 

 

PART ONE

 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2 : The history of the Hammond organ

Chapter 3: How do the Hammond organ and Leslie speaker work? By PA member Pierreolivier

Chapter 4: The heavy weighted Hammond models on the small catwalk

 

Chapter 1: An introduction

 
The Hammond organ was already embraced by the jazz musicians in the early Sixties but in the second part of the Sixties and in the first part of the Seventies it turned out to be a perfect keyboard for many (progressive) rock artists, especially because the powerful and varied Hammond organ could compete with the many decibels coming from huge Marshall guitar amplifiers! If you look at the amount of Sixties and Seventies hits with the Hammond organ in their sound, it’s amazing, just look at this list:
- Green Onions and Time is Tight by Booker T & The MG’s
Green%20Onions
- You Keep Me Hangin’On by Vanilla Fudge

- Fire by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

- Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf

- A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum

This%2045%20rpm%20record%20bought%20by%20Jean%20Marion%20Steel%20Clare%20in%20Taunton,%20May%201967
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
- Gimme Some Lovin’ by The Spencer Davis Group

- Hold Your Head up by Argent

- With A Little Bit Help From Your Friends by Joe Cocker

- Sympathy by Steve Rowland & Family Dogg

- Black Magic Woman by Santana and ... of course Child In Time by Deep

   Purple, incredible!
 
Steppenwolf%20Cover   The%20fire%20helnet%20in%20action

I have always loved the sound of the Hammond organ and other ‘vintage keyboards’ like the Mellotron, Minimoog synthesizer and Solina string-ensemble. In the autumn of 1998 I got the idea to write a ‘vintage keyboard’ special for the Dutch progrock magazine iO Pages. My knowledge about the Mellotron and Moog synthesizer is decent but the Hammond organ was technically a kind of unknown keyboard for me. So I started to collect information and stumbled upon the name Frank Obertop that was given by several Hammond organ fans. He is the editor of the Dutch Hammond organ society named Turning Wheel and he even appeared on TV talking about the Hammond organ during a popular music programm. It was quite easy to get in touch with him, he reacted enthousiastically on my plans for a special Hammond organ chapter in the vintage keyboards special and Frank even invited me to take a look at his Hammond organ collection! This was stored in the basement of an old Victorian-like building in Hilversum, it had been used for a famous Dutch political talk-show entitled Het Capitol, broadcasted every Sunday morning in the Eighties. I will never forget the moment that I entered the basement and looked at all those wonderfully shaped Hammond organs, from the famous B3 to the spinet models and he also owned two huge Leslie speakers. I was stunned and for me this was the key-moment to start my Hammond organ fascination, gradually grown mighty close to my deep love for the Mellotron!

In this article you will read about the special, very powerful and varied sound (from soaring in A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum to ‘churchy’ halfway the titletrack of Close To The Edge by Yes), the different models, famous and exciting Hammond organ players, the Hammond in progrock, Hammond drenched albums and some PA members will tell you about their fascination, a big hand for the Hammond organ!

Chapter 2: History

 
CHAPTER 2 : THE HISTORY OF THE HAMMOND ORGAN

 

 
 
The story of the Hammond organ starts with the man who invented it and gave his name to his invention: Laurens Hammond. He was born in Illinois, USA on January 11th in 1885. After his father’s death in 1898 (thanks Angelo Wink) the broken family moved to Europe and they lived in Geneva, Dresden and Paris. Young Laurens spoke fluently English, German and French and designed an automatic transmission for automoblies. In 1916 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering. In World War I he had to follow his duty in the American Expeditionary Force in France and spent two years as chief engineer of Gray Motor Company. In 1920 he invented a silent spring-driven clock, the sale which brought him enough money to quit the Gray Motor job. He moved back to the USA and rent a lof in New York City where he developped the 60-cycle synchronous motor that he later used in the manufactue of electric clocks and his tone-wheel organs. Among Laurens his patented inventions were the familiar cardboard spectacles with red and green eyepieces for viewing 3-D film, an automatic bridge table that shuffled a deck of cards into four piles. Laurens his Hammond Clock Company conduscted business from 1928 until it became  the Hammond Instrument Company in 1937.

In 1933 Hammond turned his attention to the production on an electric organ. He bought an used piano for US $ 15,- and discarded everything but the keyboard. Using it as a controller, he experimented with a number of different sound-generating techniques before settling on the tone-wheel generator. Laurens Hammond developed his instrument based on the design of the Cahill Telharmonian. After the tone-wheel generator was very well engineered, the organ went into production, the 30-page  Hammond organ patent was filed on January 19 in 1934 and in June 1935 the first Hammond organ named the Hammond A was produced (until October 1938).

The goal of the Hammond Organ Company was to sell to churches and concert halls as a portable and less expensive way for a church to have an instrument that sounded like a pipe organ without the pipes. Given the cost of the pipe organ competition many Hammonds were sold. A number of them found their way to black gospel churches, and it is from this environment many of the early jazz and blues players developed their styles. Laurens Hammond also aimed at the home, this resulted in the smaller M, M-2 and M-3 socalled spinet models (two 44-note manuals instead of two 61-note manuals), produced between November 1948 and January 1964. Meanwhile in 1961 Hammond also produced the popular spinet models L-100 and M-100. But the most famous Hammond organ are the legendary Hammond A-100 (1959-1965), B-3 (1955-late 1974) and C-3 (1955-late Seventies). These Hammond models are internally all similar, nonetheless the B-3 became the most popular with its distinctive spindly legs (meant to show the player using the pedals) but the A-100 (with built-in amplifier and speakers) and the C-3 (solid side and back casing) wer also very popular.

When designed, it came with a PR40 tone cabinet consisting of front facing speakers in a cabinet that simulated the sound of the pipes. Don Leslie designed a cabinet with a rotating speaker that he wanted to have Hammond include in its manufacturing process. Hammond did not feel it had the pure sound he wanted for his organ. Leslie manufactured his own cabinets and people bought them separate. It consisted of an upper rotor for the high frequency driver and a rotating cage on the bottom with a scoop which projects the sound from the down-facing low speaker. This created a sound that locked in perfectly with the sound of the organ and in fact became know as the "Hammond Sound".

Hammond later started calling the B models the "Home Model" because you could see the organist's legs work the pedals. C and RT models had full modesty panels across the back supposedly so female church organists would not worry the congregation was looking up their dress while playing.

People played the Hammonds from the time of manufacture throughout the 1940's but Jimmy Smith was the man that popularized the instrument in the 1950's with his trio consisting of organ, guitar and drums. Others were playing the instrument but Jimmy defined the style. In the 1960's he did some albums with Lalo Schiffrin and Oliver Nelson which took the organ to an original voice with a big band and others such as Gerald Wilson had Richard "Groove" Holmes on organ on many of his albums with his big band. Booker T and the MGs put it to work on much of the Stax recordings of the 1960's and had many albums on their own hits including "Green Onions" and "Time Is Tight".

It then went into the rock arena with the Young Rascals, Procol Harem, Chicago, The Allman Brothers, Santana and became an integral part of the music scene with many different tones and colors to choose from. Especially in the progressive rock movement the sound of the Hammond organ was omnipresent in the Seventies music from bands like Yes, Genesis, ELP, Barclay James Harvest, Camel, Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant.

With the synthesizer revolution of the 1970's and 1980's then samplers that were basically recordings of the Hammond organ sound and because of the weight of the 600-pound instrument and difficulty of carrying it around it became less and less plausible to include the instrument on stage performances. Hammond abandoned tonewheel organ production in the late 70's and, sadly, stopped making the instrument in 1984. Several keyboards have come out since then which have tried to simulate the instrument. They began developing other markets with the inclusion of rhythm units, auto-chord, and self-accompanying organs. However, none have captured the tone and feel of the original Hammond tone-wheel organs!

 

Chapter 3: THE HAMMOND ORGAN- How Does It Work?

by Pierre-Olivier Turmel

 

The Hammond organ is a trademark sound in many musical styles. It featured in different styles of music such as jazz, gospel, R & B, rock and, of course, progressive rock. Since it’s sound is very known, very few knew how this sound is produced and how it work.  In this article, I will describe, in simplified terms, how the Hammond organ produce his glorious sound.

 

THE TONE GENERATOR AND THE TONEWHEELS

The creation of the Hammond organ is often attributed to Laurens Hammond, a inventor who already created such novelties such as clockworks, 3D movies and card-dealing bridge table. Since Laurens Hammond is the actual inventor of the Hammond organ, he take the inner working of his future organ to an other inventor, Thaddeus Cahill.  He invented, three decades before the Hammond organ, a massive instrument called the Telharmonium.  That instrument is basically a Hammond organ without the amplificacation system.  The Telharmonium was a massive instrument and it’s amplification system required train wagons to be transported, not a very pratical instrument.

In 1933, Laurens Hammond was already in the business of clockworks and with the assistance of a research engineer, John Hanert, decided to apply the Cahill’s Telharmonium working into a more compact and transportable instrument, the Hammond organ first organ, the Model A was born.

The main ingredient in the Hammond sound is mainly due to the tonewheels generator. That system consists of  tonewheels that spins and produced an electric current that is captured by a coil and then amplified via a vacuum tube amplifier. In console organs models like the B3, C3 and A-100, 96 of those tonewheels are inside of the organ but only 91 of those actually produce sound, the 5 others are there to balance the mecanism.  Those tonewheels are made in steel and are the size of a silver dollar.  The resulting pitch depend of the numbers of notches that those tonewheels had on their edges and the spinning speed.  The end of the coil contain a rod-shape permanent magnet and when the tonewheel spin at a certain speed, it create a small voltage between the tonewheel and the magnet, resulting in a sound that is captured by a pickup and travel via a wire and then to the amplifier and then to the speakers.  The more notches that a tonewheel that pass the rod in a second, the higher the pitch will be. The lowest octave on the organ used tonewheels that had 2 notches. Subsequent octaves on the organ will had 4,8,16,32,64,128 and 192 notches on their edges. The last octave of the organ is supposed to had 256 teeth but it was impossible to made a tonewheel with so much small notches so instead, the top half octave tonewheel is placed in the half-octave higher bins.  Generating the first half octaves of notes in the second half-octave bins produces the same frequencies with a tonewheel of 192 theet The tonewheels are placed in 48 different bins within the generator assembly.

Those of you who already saw a console Hammond organ like the B3, C3 or A-100 had surely this question in their head, why those organs had two switches to start the organ? The Run switch is the main one that run the synchronous motor that run all 96 tonewheels. At the time of the fabrication of those console organ, the synchronous motor couldn’t star by himself.  That’s why the Start, to get the synchronous motor to a speed or 60 Hz and after you  hit the Run switch . When you it the Start switch at first, you hear a grinding noise, it’s the synchronous motor taking it’s speed.  After 8 to 10 seconds, you hit the Run switch and then released the Start switch and you are ready to play.  Later spinets models like the L-100, M-100 and the M3 had a single starting switch, the technology of the synchronous motor had developped between the manufacturation of those console organs back in the 50's and the release of the spinets organs at the end of the 50's and the beginning of the 60's.

 

DRAWBARS AND PRESETS

After seeing the working of the Hammond organ internally, we will see how it work from the exterior, in other word, the drawbars and the presets keys.  A popular image in the Hammond organ mythology is an organ player shaping the sound of his beast by manipuling the drawbars on the organ.  When a drawbar is pushed all the way in, it’s off and when is pushed out, you go trought values between 1 and 8.  Those values determine the strenght of  specific harmonics or overtones in the organ sound. The console organ (B3,C3 and A-100) are represented by 4 groups of 9 drawbars. Those drawbars are colored, there are 4 whites, 3 whites and 2 browns drawbars.  Without entering too much in complicated organ terminology, those colors reflect the intervals of it’s associated harmonics.  Whites ones represented fundamental or octave, black are for non-octace intervals like 12th, 17th and 19th.  Brown ones manipulate sub-octave harmonics, an octave below the fundamental note.

Those of you who already saw a console Hammond organ remark on the left side of each manuals the presence of  reversed colors keys.  Those keys doesn’t play, they select the organ presets sound.  Those “reversed colors” keys work a bit like the preset buttons on a car radio, when you pressed a key, it released the previous selected keys.  Like the drawbars, they changed the strenght of specific harmonics. In other words, when you selected a specific preset keys, they are pre-determined or programmed drawbars settings.  Keys C to A of those reversed keys octave of preset settings called up drawbar setting that are wired within the organ.  In those cases, you can manipulate the 2 sets of drawbars associated with each manual.  The last 2 keys of the octave of preset keys (Bb and B) activate separately one or the other set of 9 drawbars associated with the manual where the preset is pressed. So, in those cases, only one set of drawbars is working.

 

PERCUSSION

One of the Hammond organ special features is the addition of percussion effect.  That effect was available only on later organs like the B3,C3,A-100,D-100,H-100 and RT-3 console models and some spinets models like L-100,M-100,M3 and T-100.  Earlier console organ models the A,B,C,B2,C2,RT,RT-2 and earlier spinet  models like the M and M2  did not feature the percussion effect.. That effect is activated when you press the B preset and work only in the upper manual.  The effect is controlled by 4 rocker switchs.The first one is an on/off switch that activate the effect. The volume switch control the loudness of the effect (normal or soft).  The decay switch control the speed of the effect sounding a bit like a marimba (fast) or sounding like a chime (slow).  The final switch control the pitch of the percussion effect, sounding a pitch above the fundamental (second) or an octave and a fifth above the fundamental (third). The effect work internally by coupling the second and third harmonic and that creates the “touch response” effect as it was originally called or percussion effect. The effect is desactivated when you hold a key long enough and only work when you play non-legato style of playing.

 

VIBRATO AND CHORUS

Earlier Hammond organs features tremolo effect rather than vibrato.  Some customers of those early organs complain to the company that the effect was not deep enough so the engineers of Hammond developped the vibrato effect. That vibrato effect is achieved by the addition of a scanner delay line vibrato line and was invented during WW II by Hammond head engineer, John Hanert.

When he developped the scanner delay line vibrato, John Harnett found that mixing the untreated drawbar signal, before the sound is affected by the vibrato effect with the “treated” vibrato effect produced a chorus effect. On the Hammond console organs models, you had the choice of vibrato effect or vibrato and chorus effect.  You select those effect and the intensity of the effect by a round rotary knob with the mention “Vibrato and Chorus” on it.  You can select with three levels of vibrato setting called V1,V2 and V3.  The Vibrato and chorus effect sound is available by selecting the C1,C2 and C3 settings.

 

SPRING REVERB 

One of the innovations made along with the invention of the Hammond organ is the released of the spring reverb.  At the time, before World war II, before the digital age, the only way to achieve that reverb effect is to create an acoustic environment to be able to create the effect.

It was Mr.Hammond himself that visualise that the ideal setting was to pass the sound through springs.  With early organs (pre-B3), those springs where about 3 feet and only fit in the vertical position in the organ.  In the 60's, the engineers of the Hammond company developped a much better, more compact device using very small springs. The spring reverb was available only on organs that had internal speakers like the A-100 and RT-3.  It was not available internally on organs like the B3 and C3 who don’t have internal speakers but was featured on Hammond tone cabinet, even Leslie speaker featured the Hammond patented spring reverb.That effect is activated with a round knob (similar to the vibrato-chorus knob) that graduate the amount of reverb  That spring reverb became a standard and was even featured on others instruments like the Mellotron M300.

 

SQUARE-FRONT KEYS

One of the cool feature on Hammond console organs is the square-front keys or “waterfall manuals”. Those keys are arranged in a stair-step fashion and finish flush with the edge of the wood of the manuals., a bit like the keys on an acoustic piano.  At first, it was to save money that the Hammond company produced those kind of keys but it was very appreciated by players, specially those who perform roll-off glissandos.  When Hammond released spinets organs, those organs featured overhanging keys wich are keys that goes beyond the edge of the manual, a bit like synthesizer keys.  The only spinet model featuring waterfall manuals is the M serie (M,M-2,M3).

 

PEDALBOARD

The pedalboard or bass pedals are often a neglicted feature on the Hammond organ but are very important.  The chuch pipe organ featured a 32 notes concave pedalboard.  Mr. Hammond went to observe those pipe organs and found that the varnish on those pedals was worn mainly on the first two octaves, so he decided to cut the the pedals to 25 pedals.  He also found that the concave pedalboard was very expensive to produce, so in a way to cut the production he decided to produce a flat pedalboard, wich became a standard in the organ business.  When spinets organs were produced, the pedalboard was once more cut down to 13 pedals.

 

THE KEY CLICK

This popular effect was considered , at is origin, as a defect.  The key click is the sound of a depressed key making contact with the key wire and making a percussive sound.  They tried to get rid of that “defect” but, as the years goes by, a lot of players like it and it becames a tademark sound.

Later, Hammond engineers found the way to eliminate the key click but the players came back and say , “Where’s the articulation?” and they reintroduced the key click on their organs.

 

CONCLUSION

As we seen it, the Hammond organ is not a simple instrument to describe and contain many feautures and components.  It’s the addition of those components that made this sound that we love so much. I mainly took the informations in the wonderful book “The Hammond organ-beauty in the B” by Mark Vail and try to simplify the too technical terminology in order to everyone (I hope!). To understand the working of the instrument.  For those interested in Hammond, I really recommended that book.  Thanks to Erik for the trust he gave me to write that part of the article and thanks to you for reading it.

 

THE LESLIE SPEAKER

 
 
Today, when we talk about the Hammond organ, a lot of people made the association with the Leslie speaker. The two inventions go in pair together but were made by two differents companies. This speaker was invented in 1940 by an ingenious inventor in California, Don Leslie, who worked the Barker departement store, who were one the first store to sold Hammond organs in California. Mr. Leslie then brought a Hammond organ but was expecting it to sound like a pipe organ but was dissapointed with the sound of Hammond speaker, so he decided to make his own. At first, he made a speaker based on Hammond own speaker but it wasn’t working right.  He realized that the sound of a pipe organ organ moves, as the different pipes were placed at different locations within the church, he wanted to create motions in the sound.  He then imagined the rotating speakers system. The system is simple, the signal of the Hammond organ enter the speaker and is passed to a 40 watts amplifier, then divided in two ways, the bass sound and the treble sound. The treble sound (higher frequencies) goes in the upper section of the cabinet and comes out from a 2 speed horn rotor that look like a double horn rotating in various speed. The bass sound goes in the bottom of the cabinet and goes out to a 15 inches stationnary speaker. In the bottom of the Leslie cabinet is a rotating 2 speed foam rotor by wich comes the the bass and midrange sounds. The two most popular Leslies models, the 122 model and 147 had 2 speed, the slow speed for chorus(chorale) and the tremolo at high speed that can be manipulated by the player with the half-moon switch, ordinary located in the left bottom side of the organ. That combination of those two sounds create the trademark Hammond organ sound that we all love.That effect is called the “Doppler effect”.
 

When Don Leslie created his speakers, he was very proud of his invention and thought that the Hammond company might be interested in his speaker, so Mr. Leslie presented his speaker to Hammond executives and a couple of organists. At first, they all like it and they all were very enthusiast with the novelty but Laurens Hammond himself and Hammond executive Paul Owsley rejected the Leslie speaker. The Hammond company sold their own line of speakers so they saw Leslie speakers as a rival, altough the Hammond speakers were stationnary and was a completely different thing. After rejected by the Hammond Company, Don Leslie create his own company, Electro Music, and sold his speakers independently. Laurens Hammond was envious of Leslie’s speakers and even realeased a“Leslie-proof” organ that could only work with Hammond speakers, but Leslie came up with an adapter for that organ that abled Leslie speakers to work with that particular model of organ. Mr. Hammond was so against the Leslie speaker that he forbid all Hammond sellers to sold them. If they sold them, they could loose the franchise! It would take the death of Laurens Hammond in July 1973 to see Leslie’s acceptation of his invention by the Hammond company who tried so hard to pin him down until then. In 1965, Electro Music was sold to CBS who in return, sold it to Hammond company in 1980, so the two products that went so well together were finally reunited. Today, Leslie speakers are produced by the Hammond Suzuki company. Don Leslie died in September 2004 at the age of 93 years young and today his invention is still regarded as one of the greatest achievements in the musical instrument world. 

 

 

MY PERSONNAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE HAMMOND ORGAN

by Pierre-Olivier Turmel

 

My relationship with Hammond organ began very soon in my life, when I was about 3-4 years old.  I remember when I was going to my grandparents house, my great uncle who lived in the same house as my grandparents, was a very musical person.  He liked classical music and play piano and organ, he even play organ in church on sunday.  On the basement of my grandparents house, he had a Hammond spinet organ (L-100) with a Leslie speaker. I remember that he play it during family parties and since that time always love the sound.  At the time, the popular music that was played on Hammond organs were very kitsch like Cha-Cha and waltz, rock songs were not played, but I liked the sound.


Later, when I was about 7-8 years old, a school friend was taking organ lessons with a lady near my house.  He invited me to his home and show me what he learned during his lessons, so he gave me the taste to learn the organ myself.  That friend got the then new, latest transistorized Kawai organ.  That organ was good and very accurate but find the sound cold in compared to the sound of the Hammond of my great uncle.  I began taking lessons with the same lady as my friend and were a bit quite competive with each other. At first, I didn’t own any organ but my parent brought me an used Hammond at a nearby Hammond store for my birthday.  At the time, we still played kitsch music like. Cha-Cha and waltz. At about 10 years old, I discoverd prog music and my hero was Rick Wakeman, so I became tired of playing those kitsch music.  I remember bringing Yes “Close to the edge” cassette and try to convinced my teacher to learn those Yes organs parts but she was unable to teach me those difficult parts.  I said to her that I don’t want to play those Cha-Cha anymore, so I play more classical pieces from Bach, Mozart, etc, so it was a nice compromise.

When I began my high school years at about 12-13 years, i was still taking organ courses but my interest began to fade a bit.  At the college where i went, a teacher was giving guitar lessons after school, so I began to be interested in guitar. I played guitar since then and even had a collegial diploma in classical guitar from the Vincent d’Indy musical school in Montreal.

During my scholarship in the musical school, I was taking piano lessons as second instrument and my interest for keyboards instruments was renewed.  It was during that time that I discovered my interest for the Mellotron with the arrival of those wonderful Swedish bands like Anglagard and Anekdoten.  I even formed a progressive rock band influenced by those groups with school friends.  After the band disbanded, I began buying various keyboards and found a (then) working Hammond L-100 for sale in a basement that was very cheap, it was one of the best bargain that I made. I play keyboards with some bands during that time but it was mainly covers bands and my interest was not fully present when I play other people music.

Musically the last few years had been quiet but I still had hope of forming a progressive rock or an electronic band (I like the french band Air quite a lot!) that sing in French (my native language) in the future. I will cross my fingers!

 

MY TOP 5 OF FRENCH AND QUEBEC HAMMOND ORGAN ALBUMS

Those albums that I referred in this top 5 are not the best Hammond organ albums. Personnally, my two favorites international Hammond organ albums are The Strawbs “Antique and Curios”(1970) where a young player by the name of Rick Wakeman is simply amazing on Hammond organ, specially on the piece “Where are the dream of your youth”, simply the best organ solo I’ve never heard in my life. Another album is Traffic’s “Mr.Fantasy”(1968) on wich Steve Windwood creates simply one of the best Hammond organ sound that I heard. The albums on my personnal top 5 named more obscure french and Quebec albums that are not very known internationally. So, here’s my personnal top 5:

 

1.Nino Ferrer- Métronomie (1972):

Nino Ferrer was a 60's popular singer in the 60's. Those of you who lived in France or Quebec might know him with such hits like “Le Telefon” and “Les Cornichons”. After a stay in his natal country, Italy where he was a popular TV host, he discovered the early italian prog scene with bands like Le Orme and I Quelli(pre-PFM) and was captivated with that new sound. He returned to France where he recorded “Métronomie” in late 1971. The organ(and mellotron) player on that album, Giorgio Giombolini is simply amazing and virtuositic. The sound of the Hammond is influenced by Keith Emerson and Le Orme Tony Pagliuca’s organ sound.That album is also very influenced by jazz Those who love Hammond organ might take a listen.

2. Offenbach- St-Chrone de Néant (1973):

That album is quite special. Offenbach was one of Quebec’s most popular rock group. That album was recorded during a special concert in the St-Joseph oratory, a church in Montreal, where the group performed a mass for the dead or requiem sung in latin on November 30th 1972. That album is amazing and Gerry Boulet Hammond organ work is wonderful and dynamic.An AKS synthesizer(suitcase version of the VCS3) was also used. Another highlight of the album is the guitar player Johnny Gravel, who played soulful and inspired guitar parts. That album is very blues influenced but some agreed that this album is Offenbach’s most progressive effort. That concert was such a cultural event that a reunion was done for the 30th anniversary of the concert in 2002,at the same church, sadly without the participation of Gerry Boulet who passed away in 1991.That album was originally available only on vinyl(I hope that it will be reissued by ProgQuebec), but is available on the second CD of the Offenbach’s box set.

3.Sandrose- s/t (1972):

A wonderful french album. The Hammond(and mellotron) player on that album, Henri Garella is incredible and his playing is very influenced by the jazz organ sound. The sound of Jean-Pierre Alarcen guitar is another highlight. An incredible album that I recommend to amateur of jazz influenced progressive rock.

4.Octobre- s/t (1973):

One of Quebec great  progressive rock band.They almost stole the show when they opened for King Crimson in 1972 in Montreal. Pierre Flynn’s Hammond playing is very good on that album and the sound of the band is very inspired by Gentle Giant and french band Ange. A lot of Octobre’s fans rated the band second album “Le chant des souterrains” higher but I personnally like the simpliness and spontaneous aspect of their self-titled album .A great album that I recommended strongly.

5. Air- Virgins Suicide original soundtrack (1999):

The only recent album of the top 5. Air is the french electronic band that released the popular album “Moon Safari” in 1997 and had a worldwide hit with the song “Sexyboy”. In 1999, they were asked by filmmaker Sofia Coppolla(daughter of Francis Ford) to do the music of her first film. The result is a dark and atmospheric music that can be compared to Pink Floyd’s own soundtrack work. I’ve read an article on the british Keyboards magazine at the time that goes in details of what keyboards they used for that soundtrack. They said that they used an Hammond L-100 organ but without a Leslie cabinet. The result sound is very “churchy” and goes quite well with the atmosphere of the soundtrack. That soundtrack also used mellotron and minimoog a lot and the sound is closest to progressive rock than their debut album. Another one that I recommended.

 

Chapter 4: The heavy weighted Hammond models on the small catwalk:

         Most popular types of Hammond organs

Hammond tonewheel organs can be divided into two main groups: the 'Console' models such as the A, B, C, D, and R series which have two 61 note manuals and the smaller 'Spinet' models that have two 44 note manuals such as the M, L, and T series. The production of tonewheel organs stopped in the early to mid 1970s.

Hammond A.

 

This is the original Hammond organ, produced between June 1935 and October 1938 with a price of  US $ 2600,- . It has the same cabinet as B models, but not as deep. The users included celebrities like Henry Ford and George Gershwin. At about 2500 were made.

 

Hammond B-3

 
 
The model B-3 was - and remains - the most popular Hammond model amongst musicians.

It was produced between January 1955 and 1974, price US $ 1250,- in 1955 and US $ 1175,- in 1967 (including a PR40 tone cabinet). It is the archetype and equipped with Hammond chorus/vibrato providing 3 levels of chorus and vibrato, selectable for each manual independently. It is also equipped with Hammond Percussion. Main feature: its spindly legs and classic Hammond sounds.

Users: from Gregg Allman, Brian Auger, Keith Emerson, Peter Bardens and Jon Lord to Gregg Rolie, Jimmy Smith and Joe Zawinul.

 

Hammond C3

 

Produced between January 1955 and 1974, price US $ 1123,- (walnut finish and PR40 tone cabinet) in 1967 and US $ 1369,- in 1972. It’s virtually identical to B3 except for more solid side and back casing and it has percussion. “Take a B-3's guts and put it in the C type church model case”.

 

Hammond A-100

Produced  between September 1959 and 1965, price US $ 950,- in 1967 and US $ 1426 in 1972. It was the first with built-in amp and speakers and users were Keith Emerson, Georgie Fame and Richard Sinclair (Caravan)

 

Hammond L-100

Produced between 1961 and 1972, price in US $ 525,- in 1967 and US $ 737,- in 1972 (it is the cheapest tone wheel Hammond organ).

Main features: spinet model, built-in-amplifier and speakers, vibrato and percussion

Users: from Keith Emerson, Tony Banks (his first keyboard when Genesis turned professional) and Peter Bardens to Dave Greenfield (The Stranglers), Eddie Hardin, Zoot Money and Dave Stewart (Egg and National Health)

 

Hammond M-100

Produced between August 1961 and 1968, price US $ 630,-

Very similar to L-100 but marginally bigger, an extra speaker and 24 extra control tabs including 6 presets (M100A had extra percussion features and pedal sustain). Users: from Don Airey and Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) to Patrick Moraz, Jon Lord, Alan Price (I Put The Spell On You by CCR) and Stevie Winwood.

 

 

 
 
                               See you in part 2 Thumbs%20Up
 
 
 


Edited by erik neuteboom - November 28 2007 at 17:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2007 at 14:19
Great work, Erik!
"Literature is well enough, as a time-passer, and for the improvement and general elevation and purification of mankind, but it has no practical value" - Mark Twain
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2007 at 15:32

Great reading and work, Erik and Pierre-Olivier!!

 
 
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               Thanks Chicapah and Glasshouse and indeed, a big hand
               for my Canadian friend Pierre-Olivier and I would like to thank
               fellow Dutchman Angelo for scanning my Hammond pictures Clap
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2007 at 18:40
Very nice, perhaps this could be published in the database for visitors to read as well Smile
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2007 at 22:31
      
 
Thank you very much glasshouse for the good words. A big thanks for Erik for thinking of me to write that part and to have the idea of that special.Clap
 
It was a pleasure to be part of that and write about a loved instrument that been part of my life since my childhood.Smile
 
 
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                        Thanks Jimmy and Pierre-Olivier Thumbs%20Up, later this day I
                   will publish Part Two, embellished with some nice pictures.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 09:48
Awesome, Erik  Clap

interesting contribution, pierreolivier
never saw a leslie speaker animation before ...


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                                          Vielen Dank, Uwe Thumbs%20Up 
 
I am very glad with all your positive reactions, at some moments it was a hell of a job to finish this article but on the other hand it was great fun because I had to play a lot of exciting Hammond drenched CD's I hadn't heard for many years. I am also very pleased with the many 'Hammond friendly' recommendations I received in my Hammond thread, you will read about it the forthcoming days in this new Hammond Extravaganza thread.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 10:21
Looks good Erik, looking forward to the rest.
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                              Thanks Easy Money, you will be there too Wink
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 11:07

 

         THE HAMMOND ORGAN

 

                “From a poor man’s pipe organ to

                   a progrock musician's big band

 

 

PART TWO

 

Chapter 5: My personal Hammond story: a meeting with my hero Thijs Van Leer

Chapter 6: ‘Hammond Heroes’: pioneers, masters and specialists on the Hammond organ

Chapter 7:  1967-2007 Fourty years of Hammond sounds in progressive rock

 

 

CHAPTER 5:

MY PERSONAL HAMMOND STORY: A MEETING WITH MY HERO THIJS VAN LEER

 

Like so many progheads in the mid-Seventies I was excited about Dutch progrock band Focus. Although a lot of praise went to the capricious guitar talent Jan Akkerman but my man was the versatile Thijs Van Leer with his vituosic organ play, his swirling work on the flute traverse and of course his unique, quite cheerful sounding ‘yodeling’. I read all about Focus in the music magazines and I watched them on TV, including the footage from BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test with the legendary Focus At The Rainbow concert in 1972. Focus was ‘hot’ and within a few years this Dutch four-piece band turned into a worldwide praised progrock band, from the USA to Japan!

The years went by, I had become a symphomaniac and started writing for seveal small (prog)rock  magazines from the early Nineties. A few years later I decided to make  a vintage keyboard special for a Dutch progrock magazine, my ultimate wish was to let the known Dutch keyboards players like Rick Van Der Linden, Ton Scherpenzeel and of course Thijs Van Leer talk about those vintage keyboards in my special. I succeeded to get the phone number of Thijs Van Leer, thanks to Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) because I had interviewed him two times and I knew that Thijs Van Leer had played on his 2-CD The Electric Castle. So I tried to contact Thijs but every time his poshy ex-wife told me he was not at home. One day I came home from my late shift and my wife said to me words I will never forget: “Erik, Thijs Van Leer was on the phone, he asked you to call him back later this evening.” Well, I was absolutely excited because I realised that I was allowed to ask my childhood hero a few questions. I phoned Thijs and we had a nice conversation about Focus, his keyboards and his plans for a new Focus line-up.  Thijs  was very pleasant and willing to talk for a while, at least an hour! But this is not the end of this story because a few years ago a friend invited me to visit a music festival near his home Arnhem where Focus was on the bill. That day we visited the festival many hours before it began, the area was almost empty and we walked around a little bit. Suddenly a small white van approached us, the driver turned out to be Thijs Van Leer and he asked us to give him a hand to carry his Hammond organ... “Sure Mister Van Leer, we will” we said, proud and thrilled we helped him to carry his heavy Hammond organ to the stage, like we were his roadies! On stage we had a chat, he was very friendly and when I told him about our interview on the phone many years ago, he said  he remembered that interview because it was “such a nice specialized magazine”. During the festival concert in Arnhem,  I watched  my childhood hero Thijs Van Leer, playing the organ, the flute traverse and doing his ‘yodeling’, like in the early Seventies, full circle!

 

CHAPTER 6:

THE MASTERS ON THE HAMMOND ORGAN

 

In this chapter I have decided not to include the names of legendary keyboard-wizards like Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Jon Lord, Eddie Jobson, Tony Banks or the late Peter Bardens and Rick van der Linden but to put the focus on names that you don’t find very often on Prog Archives.

 

JIMMY SMITH:

Intro: In Keith Emerson his autobiographical book entitled Pictures Of An Exhibitionist he tells that for a long time his idea about the organ was that “the only place was in a church or for entertainement at seaside bingo halls”. But after listening to the pioneering and pivotal Hammond organ player Jimmy Smith he changed his mind and started to save money for an organ by doing several jobs.

 
                           Jimmy%20Smith’s%20Picture

Jimmy Smith is one of the most legendary and most exciting players on the Hammond organ. He was born in 1925 in Pennsylvania (USA), at the age of 9 he won an amateur contest. First he took the bass, then the piano and eventually the Hammond organ in 1953. Jimmy founded a trio (that briefly included other famous musician John Coltrane), he earned a contract with the known label Blue note and gradually Jimmy became a sensation with his powerful sound and as 'bebop' described style. He played with Art Blakey and guitarists Kenny Burrel and Wes Montgomery and in The Sixties he put more of his blues roots into his music. Jimmy Smith became an icon for famous musicians like Georgie Fame, Brian Auger, Graham Bond and Jimmy McGriff, another wizard on the Hammond organ! In the Seventies Jimmy opened his own nightclub but later he started touring again, from Europe to Japan.

Recently I bought the DVD Funk In The Keys, it is a registration of  a concert at the Florida Keys Islamorada’s Festival By The Bay in 1999. We can enjoy Jimmy (74 years old!) playing lots of very quick runs and delivering a varied sound, one of the trademarks of the Hammond organ because of the drawbars that enable you to create almost endless sounds! To me the often swinging music mainly sounds as jazzy inspired, like the sound of the skilled guitarist who plays some very strong solos. The final song Trophhic contains a Latin-Amercian atmosphere (that reminds me of the rhythm in La Bamba) featuring outstanding flute work and a mindblowing improvisation by Jimmy Smith that fits perfect to the Latin-American rhythm, this man is a Hammond organ!

 

MARK STEIN 

In the New York era Mark Stein (organ and lead vocals) and Tim Bogert (bass guitar) played in a band called Rick Martin & The Snowmen. They were so impressed by the sound of THE RASCALS (swinging and floods of organ) that they dediced to form their own band with Vinnie Martell on guitar and Rick Martin’s drummer Joey Brennan. They named themselves The PIGEONS but, after the replacement of Joey Brennan by Carmine Appice, the new name became VANILLA FUDGE. After five LP's VANILLA FUDGE decided to split up and to look for other musical challenges. VANILLA FUDGE’s sound is a captivating and exciting blend of soul, blues, rock and progrock with strong hints from JIMI HENDRIX (fiery electric guitar) and THE RASCALS (floods of Hammond B3 organ).

The best way to get an impression of the dynamic and alternating VANILLA FUDGE sound is the compilation-CD "Psychedelic Sundae (the best of..)": some Rhythm & blues with soul/gospel-like vocals and vocal harmonies but mainly music that is based upon great interplay between the fierce electric guitar (like JIMI HENDRIX) and the powerful Hammond B3 organ. The compositions range from slow, almost hypnotizing to propulsive with heavy outbursts. The vocals sound soulful, a rather unusual combination in progrock. Discover this captivating, very progressive blend of different styles and keep in mind that YES, DEEP PURPLE and URIAH HEEP pointed at VANILLA FUDGE as their main influence! Best studio albums to start with are "Near the Beginning" and "Rock & Roll".

 

BRIAN AUGER

This highly acclaimed keyboard player (Keith Emerson called Brian Auger “the best jazz organist in the world”) was born in 1939 in India but he moved to London. There he began his musical carreer in the early Sixties in a jazz trio on piano. Then he started his musical adventures, he founded the bands Trinity, Steampackett and Oblivion Express and during the years he played with John McLaughlin, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart and with Eric Burdon he toured between 1990 and 1994. A year later he founded a new Oblivion Express formation, the line-up included his daughters Savannah on vocals and Karma on drums and he is still touring with his band. I own a video with a 1989 concert at a jazz festival, it contains lots of exciting solos by Brian Auger, showing why is generally considered as one of the ultimate masters on the Hammond organ! At this moment I am collecting information in order to buy albums from Brian Auger, here are some quotes by fellow collaborators about Brian Auger his Hammond work on a few canditates for my collection:

 

Live%20Oblivion,%20Vols.%201-2
 
BRIAN AUGER — LIVE OBLIVION Volume 2

Review by Easy Money

“This is 70s jazz fusion with the emphasis on fun RnB and rock songs without sacrificing any artistic integrity. This is a live album and it is bursting with the kind of energy that only comes with live performances. Brian's solos on B3 and Fender Rhodes all have the pure analogue sound of their time.”

“Brian Auger and his band are definitley drawing from 60s RnB/jazz bands such as Les McCann and Ramsey Lewis on this album, but Auger's music hits a little harder because you can also hear the influence of 70s rockers such as Santana and Deep Purple.“

 

BRIAN AUGER — Closer To It!

Review by Chicapah (Rollie Anderson)

“Santana’s incredible “Caravanserai” LP had sent serious shock waves reverberating through the fusion world and Brian, no doubt, was captivated by its spell. Therefore, the conga-laden, “traveling” feel of the intro to “Whenever You’re Ready” pays unashamed homage to that spectacular group of California musicians while laying the foundation for the rest of the album. After experimenting with R&B screamer Ligertwood on the previous LP (with mixed results) it seems that Auger took a more relaxed attitude towards his own limited singing chops and decided his tone would work just fine if they buried the vocal down in the mix a tad. The approach works and it turns out to not be much of a detriment at all. His Hammond sound on this number is brisk and fresh and it becomes evident that this style of music fits Brian quite well.”

 

BRIAN AUGER — Streetnoise

Review by Chicapah (Rollie Anderson)

“Tropic of Capricorn” is a very jazzy tune written by Brian “Auge” Auger that demonstrates right off the bat one of the main reasons to love this band. The Hammond organ. Brian is a monster and the fire he ignites every time he takes a ride is quite evident on this number.”

“As I mentioned earlier, their cover of The Doors’ “Light My Fire” is what got me started on Auger’s work and when you hear it you’ll understand why. After hearing what Jose Feliciano had done to the song they decided to make it even jazzier and expressive and the result is nothing short of genius. Julie’s erotic and near-orgasmic delivery takes your breath away as she makes the tune her own and Brian’s sensuous organ lead is a treat, as well. This track is the highlight of the album and singularly worth the price of admission.“

“If you haven’t come to admire Driscoll’s artistry by now, her stunning performance on “When I Was a Young Girl” has got to be the clincher. It’s a haunting vocal and organ piece that slowly builds to an amazingly emotional crescendo and I guarantee you’ll never forget Julie’s gut-wrenching wails that take her voice flying into the highest registers imaginable.

Brian’s “Ellis Island” (an instrumental inspired by Don Ellis) starts with a typical 60s-styled clavinet riff but then gets hotter than Hades as the tight rhythm section of Thacker and Ambrose glide underneath Auger’s jet-fueled, screaming organ ride.”

“If you are a fan of the Hammond sound then you can’t afford to overlook this album.

Auger’s organ lead will curl your hair and, if you stand too close to the speakers, it might set your clothes ablaze.”

“And NOBODY, including Emerson, Wakeman and Lord, had the ability to attack the Hammond keyboard with more intensity and blazing passion than Brian Auger. He proves it beyond any shadow of a doubt here.”

 

EDDIE HARDIN

After Steve Winwood left The Spencer Davis Group to found Traffic, he was replaced by Eddie Hardin. He turned out to be a real master on the Hammond organ, just listen to the live CD Catch You On The Rebop, Live 1973, Eddie Hardin delivers a wide range of Hammond sounds and sensational solos. Later he formed a new band with the Spencer Davis Group drummer Peter York, the press hailed their music and named the duo “the smallest big band in the world”. Recommended: their live CD Live In The ’70, the duo on their pinnacle.

 

MATTHEW FISHER

- Halfway The Sixties Gary Brooker and Keith Reid decided to write songs for other artists. Unfortunately for these young musicians this didn’t work out and in 1967 they founded a band to perform these songs by themselves. Gary recruited Robin Trower on guitar, Dave Knights on bass and B.J. Wilson on drums. But he also wanted an organ player to sound more sophisticated, inspired by the gospel and rhythm & blues music from the USA. Through an advertisement in the known British music magazine Melody Maker they found Hammond organ player Matthew Fisher. He liked the songs very much and immediately joined the brandnew band named Procol Harum, derived from the name of a cat!

In 1967 Procol Harum stunned the musical world with their eponymous debut LP and th eomnipresent Hammond sound, it turned out to be very pivotal and soon lots of Procol Harum inspired bands emerged in the late Sixties and eary Seventies (see Chapter 7).

On the Repertoire reissue CD of the LP Procol Harum entitled A Whiter Shade Of Pale you can listen to the amazing progressive sound by Procol Harum. This reissue also contains the single A Whiter Shade Of Pale (released before the album was recorded), because of idealistic reasons it was not on the original LP release (the band didn’t want the public to pay two times for this timeless composition!). And it also contains four bonustracks Lime Street Blues (this turns out to be pure rock and roll with powerful guitar and floods of Hammond), the single Homburg (slow rhythm with majestic Grand piano, melancholical vocals and a churchy organ sound), Monsieur Armand (catchy rhythm, lush organ and fiery guitar) and Seems To Have The Blues All The Time (bluesy vocals, a powerful Hammond solo and again a fiery guitar solo). About the original LP, after the wonderful Hammond drenched single A Whiter Shade Of Pale (based on Bach’s Air On The G String) the band presented mature, adventurous and varied compositions: warm vocals, strong duo-keyboards (piano/organ) and a short but swirling Hammond solo in the quite melancholical Conquistador, a bluesy climate in Something Following Me (powerful guitar solo) and Cerdes (swelling Hammond sound), a swinging rhythm in Kaleidoscope (excellent Hammond sounds) and Lime Street Blues (boogie woogie piano) and funny atmospheres in the short Mabel and Good Captain Clack. But the magnum opus on the debut album is the instrumental piece Repent Walpurgis, written by Matthew Fisher: first a slow rhythm with soaring Hammond and tender piano, then a sensitive guitar solo and warm piano arpeggio’s and finally wonderful interplay between a sparkling piano, lush organ waves and howling electric guitar, goose bumps!

 

GREGG ROLIE

During a jam session late ’66 Greg Rolie and Carlos Santana met and because of the chemistry they decide to found The Santana Blues Band, Greg gives up his job as a dish washer. Their blend of rock, jazz and blues with latin percussion sound sensational and without making an album, the band (soon simply named Santana) is invited to perform on the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969. During the epic Soul Sacrifice Greg plays an outstanding solo on the Hammond organ, one of the highights of that festival in my opinion! A few years ago a Santana CD entitled Live At The Filmore ’68 was released, it contains lots of great work on the Hammond organ by Greg Rolie. In 1970 Santana performed at The Family Dog in San Fransisco (along with The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane), during the compositions Incident At Neshabur and Soul Sacrifice (hot percussion!) Gregg Rolie delivers two strongly build-up solos although the camera crew has difficulties to find Greg because the stage hosts so many musicians! This footage is now on DVD.

 

CHESTER THOMPSON:

Another man in Carlos Santana his band (after Gregg Rolie and Tom Coster)  who was a master on the Hammond organ, two interesting DVD’s featuring Chester Thompson are:

SANTANA – Live In Concert (Loreley in Germany 1998)

We can enjoy lots of sensitive, fiery and biting (wah-wah) guitar soli and Chester Thompson is outstanding on the Hammond organ, what a swirling soli in Day Of Celebration and One Fine Morning and in Savor he freaks out during a great build-up solo, how exciting!

SANTANA – Sacred Fire

This is the best Mexican party you can attend, Carlos Santana playing a home game (recorded in Mexico City, 1993)! From the very first second on this DVD Carlos and his outstanding band blow you away: a super-inspired ‘Sustain Santana’ with lots of moving, often howling guitar soli, hot Afro-Cuban percussion play on conga’s and timbales, strong vocalists and keyboard player Chester Thompson who delivers great work on the Hammond organ.

 

DAVE GREENSLADE

Dave Greenslade played in Colosseum, one of the pivotal progressive bands that emerged in the second part of the Sixties. In ’68 the founding members were drummer Jon Hiseman, saxophone player Dick Heckstall-Smith and bass player Tony Reeves, later joined by Dave Greenslade (keyboards), Dave Clempson (guitar), Chris Farlowe (vocals) and Mark Clark, he replaced Tony Reeves. Colosseum made three studio albums: "Those Who Are To Die We Salute You" and "Valentyne Suite" (both from ’69) and "Daughter Of Time" (’70). The music is a progressive mix of several styles (rock, jazz, blues) with lots of sensational solos and captivating interplay.

In ’91 the label Castle Communications released the comprehensive compilation CD entitled "The Time Machine". It’s a good impression of Colosseum their varied sound: catchy and swinging with strong vocals, raw guitarwork, lots of saxophone and floods of Hammond organ in Walking In The Park and Those About To Die, bluesy in Theme For An Imaginary Western and Butty’s Blues, flute in The Machine Demands A Sacrifice and vibraphone in Rope Ladder To The Moon. The final two tracks are live: lots of jazzy saxophone in Tanglewood ’63 and an impressive and powerful drum solo in The Time Machine. But the absolute highlight on this CD is the epic titletrack of their second album entitled The Valentyne Suite (almost 17 minutes). It starts with a fluent rhythm delivering strong work on organ, saxophone and vibraphone, then a wonderful mellow part with Grand piano and wailing saxophone. Next we can enjoy a churchy Hammond organ sound and powerful bass runs, culminating in a swinging rhythm with swirling Hammond organ, jazzy saxophone and a propulsive rhythm-section, very exicting and the interplay between the musicians is outstanding! The rhythm slows down and Dave Greenslade delivers a Hammond solo with a kind of wah-wah sound, spectacular. After a bass solo the guitarist plays a long, bluesy oriented solo with wah-wah. The final part has a very dynamic atmosphere with great interplay between organ, sax, guitar and the rhythm-section, Colosseum at their best!

After the demise of Colosseum in ‘71, keyboardplayer Dave Greenslade founded his own band Greenslade, featuring Tony Reeves (bass), Dave Lawson (keyboards, clarinet, flute) and Andrew McCulloch (drums), he had left King Crimson. In ’73 Greenslade released “Bedside manner are extra”, in my opinion their masterwork. It’s an an excellent blend of classic, jazz, rock, blues and symphonic rock with elaborate compositions and inventive and exciting dual-keyboardplay by Greenslade and Lawson. Highlight is the splendid build-up track “Drum folk” featuring halfway a short drumsolo and some Mellotron, the climax is a bluesy, very moving Hammond organ solo, goose bumps!

 

BARBARA DENNERLEIN

 

Born in Munich in 1964, Barbara Dennerlein started playing organ at the age of eleven. Just a few years later, aged fifteen, she performed regularly at local jazz clubs. There she laid the foundations for her future career as a professional musician, which, before very long, let her rise to the circle of the few German artists with international reputation and become the leading representative of her instrument, the legendary Hammond B3. With her brilliant playing technique she created an innovative and distinctive style that opened up totally new musical dimensions for the Hammond organ, which in modern jazz had been ignored for a long time. Without doubt she can claim that she has paved the way for the organ's current renaissance in jazz. In the early 1980's she was a secret known only to insiders on the Munich jazz scene: 15-year-old Barbara Dennerlein, captivating an enthusiastic audience with impressive wit and skill as she whirled her fingers over the B3 Hammond organ - an instrument often derided and associated with the dusty patina of bar jazz. But what this pert, unaffected teenager performed was pure jazz. Jazz at its best, ranging from swing to bebop, from blues to funk. And many a local jazz celebrity competed to appear on stage together with this prodigy.

Yet despite all this enthusiasm, scarcely anyone truly believed that this young lady would become Germany's most important and successful jazz export, acclaimed and respected by critics and the public alike on both sides of the Atlantic. In the "Critics' Poll" organised by the renowned American jazz magazine DownBeat she has been among the leaders year after year. In 1998 she took first prize for the fifth time in the "TDWR organ" category; in 1995, for the third time, she carried off the "German Record Critics Award, on this occasion for her Verve debut album Take Off. In the same year this successful CD was honoured twice with the "Jazz Award" and, after holding the Number One position in the German Jazz Charts for several months, proved to be the best-selling jazz album of 1995. An international success that was even outdone with her follow-up albums Junkanoo and Outhipped.

Above all, she is one of the very few organists who play a pedal bass, and is surely unequalled for her breathtaking technique."The pedals are absolutely crucial for my way of playing the Hammond organ. They enable me to create a very special rhythmic structure which cannot be easily imitated by the double-bass, since together with the two manuals I have a kind of "rhythmic triptych" at my disposal," explains Barbara Dennerlein.

In order to get an impression of this acclaimed Hammond organ player I bought the CD compilation The Best Of Barbara Dennerlein. Well, I am absolutely delighted about her because she combines great skills and emotion, from powerful jazzy sounding runs to moving bluesy inspired waves, check out this lady!

 

REESE WYNANS

This was Stevie Ray Vaughan his outstanding man on the keyboards in his band Double Trouble, he often used the Hammond B3 organ. On the 2-DVD Live At Montreux you can watch his skills on the second disc entitled Live At Montreux 1985: exciting support to Stevie his fiery and biting solos and groovy guitar riffs with tidal waves and swirling runs, from Soul To Soul and Mary Had A Little Lamb to Texas Flood!

 

CHAPTER 7: 

1967-2007 FOURTY YEARS OF HAMMOND SOUNDS IN PROGRESSIVE ROCK

 

a)      The Hammond organ embraced by the Progressive Rock keyboard players

 

My starting point for this special is the year 1967 when Procol Harum and Vanilla Fudge released their eponymous debut albums, loaded with the distinctive and powerful sound of the Hammond organ. In the same year The Nice featuring keyboard-wizard Keith Emerson  on his Hammond organ stunned the audience, Keith was soon named “the Jimi Hendrix of the progressive rock”. He got this nickname not only because of his adventurous and creative use but also because of his infamous abuse like stabbing with knives and jumping on it! From his autobiograpy Pictures Of An Exhibitionist: “Together with his father Keith intended to buy a Bird organ but in the Portsmouth Organ Centre his father hesitated, then the salesman  proposed to play on a Hammond organ. Keith says “And there it was, resplendent in beautiful shining mahogany: the Hammond L1 00 electric organ! I playes on it. That was the sound! My father agreed (“you’ve got to have it, it’s a far more superior instrument”).” 

 
Inspired by the Hammond drenched sound of  The Nice and Procol Harum soon many bands frequently used the Hammond organ between the late Sixties and the early Seventies like Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Caravan, Van Der Graaf Generator, Jethro Tull, Camel and Barclay James Harvest. Most keyboard players were classically trained and their influence on the music of the progrock compositions in those days was siginificant with some awesome examples of work on the Hammond organ: Rick Wakeman his solo during Roundabout and his church organ sound halfway Close To The Edge, Tony Banks his psychedelic solo during in Supper’s Ready, his majestic sound in The Musical Box and his interplay with the Mellotron during the intro of Watcher Of The Skies, Peter Bardens during his exciting solo in Lady Fantasy, Rick Wright on Pink Floyd At Pompeii and Animals and Keith Emerson on Pictures At An Exhibtion.

In his book Rocking The Classic the author Edward Macan explains that the Anglo-Saxon church tradition played an important role because many musicians grew up with the sound of the church organ and the choir. During the progrock concerts in the late Sixties and early Seventies Edward considers the atmosphere as almost religious ceremonial happenings with the Hammond organ as a substitute for the pipe organ.

In the UK you can trace that huge influence not only in the music of the legendary progrock formations like Yes, Genesis and ELP but also in bands like Bram Stoker, Beggar’s Opera, Fantasy, Fruupp, Fuzzy Duck, Gracious, Greenslade, Rare Bird and Refugee (featuring the ‘Swiss Poodle’ Patrick Moraz). In many music books about the Seventies these bands are named as a part of The Early British Progressive Rock Movement.

In the late Sixties and early Seventies countless progrock bands emerged in Italy, often inspired by ELP, Yes, King Crimson and Genesis but also Jethro Tull and VDGG. It was a very florishing music scene that delivered lots of excellent and varied sounding bands with an important role for the Hammond organ like Banco (their early albums), Formula Tre (Sognando E Risognando), Le Orme (Collage), Alphataurus (album Alphataurus),Gli Alluminogeni (Scolopendra), Anology (album Anaolgy), Il Balletto Di Bronzo (Ys), Cherry Five (album Cherry Five), Metamorfosi (E Fu Il Geste Giorno and Inferno), Murple Io Sono Murple), Museo Rosenbach (Zarathustra), New Trolls (I love the 2-LP Searching For A Land), Nuova Idea (Clowns), Panna Freda (Uno), Reale Accademia Di Musical (RAM), Rovescio Della Medaglia (Contaminazione), Rustichelli & Bordini (Opera Prima), Triade (La Storia Di Sabazio) and The Trip (The Trip and especially Atlantide).

Denmark delivers the exciting Hammond drenched sound by Ache on their two albums De Homine Urbano (1970) and Green Man (1971), keyboardplayer Peter Mellin is a real Hammond wizard (see Chapter 10)! Peter%20Mellin,%201968
 
From the early Seventies the Japanese progrock delivered lots of interesting, often ELP and UK inspired bands with a prominent role for the Hammond organ with as the most obvious examples Cosmos Factory (album An Old Castle Of  Transylvania), Social Tension (‘the second coming of ELP’), Gerard (especially as a trio in the Nineties), Outer Limits (album The Scene Of Pale Blue),  Deja Vu and later Ars Nova

In the Eighties the neo-progrock ruled, speerheaded by Marillion, and remarkably is the omnipresence of (mainly digital) synthesizers, it seems that the Hammond organ was not very popular among the keyboard players of this category.

But then in the early Nineties we could enjoy the Skandinavian Progrock Revival, bands that were firmly rooted into the Seventies sound of the symphonic progrock dinosaurs and that made lavishly use of the Hammond organ like Anglagard, White Willow, Atlas, Manticore, Sinkadus and Zello. And in the USA the new band Spock’s Beard also sounded very retro with lots of vintage keyboards. On the video Lie At The Whiskey the Japanese keyboard player freaks out on his Hammond organ! In the USA another band hailed the Hammond organ, their name Niacin is even a ‘hidden tribute’ because it means Vitamin B3!

 
And how about the amount of Hammond organ in the current progrock scene?

Well, I would like to recommend some bands I discovered this last decade, first a trip to Argentina with Nexus. The music on their studio-albums albums Detras Del Umbral, Metanoia and especially Perpetuum Karma is rooted in the Seventies symphonic rock sound with obvious echoes from Keith Emerson his Hammond and Moog sound in early ELP. Their keyboardplayer Lalo Huber was willing to tell me about his passion:

 
“ My first musical encounter with the Hammond organ sound was in the Seventies when I accidentally listened to Blues Variations in a neighbours' house. At that time I was just a school boy and played electric guitar. But after listening to Emerson's roaring Hammond sound in Blues Variations I immediately changed my guitar for the keyboards!

I had fallen in love with the Hammond and vintage synthesizers like the Moog and with progressive rock too, all at the same time! My love for the Hammond continued to grow while listening to Rick Wakeman, Eddie Jobson, Steve Walsh and Jon Lord. These keyboard players are my key influences... together with Hammond pioneer Jimmy Smith of course, the man who "invented" the Hammond tricks and modern sounds!

My favourite albums with Hammond sounds are, almost obviously, Pictures at an exhibition, Tarkus, Brain Salad Surgery and Trilogy by ELP and  The six wives... by Rick Wakeman.

My own style is aggressive, I like to use overdrive and I almost break the organs in my live performances. I have even left blood on the keys in live performances... due to very fast and energetic "glissandos"! These are of course influences from the master Keith Emerson, and also Jon Lord. Sometimes I like to think and feel the Hammond as a wild animal, an animal with a lot of power that you have to control.

It's interesting how an instrument that was meant as a low cost replacement for church organs ended up as a jazz and progressive rock icon! I believe the Hammond is a key part of the essence of progressive rock and I work everyday to understand it better and better.”

 
Finally to Italy with two interesting bands.

Areknames: This is an Italian band featuring Michele Epifani (keyboards, guitars and vocals) as the musical brainchild. On their eponymous debut-CD we can enjoy pleasant progrock that frequently alternates from mellow or compelling to sumptuous delivering a lush organ sound and melancholic vocals. In general the compositions are based upon creating early Seventies symphonic and psychedelic landscapes with analogue keyboards like the Hammond – and Farfisa organ, Mellotron and Fender Rhodes electric piano. The electric guitarwork is sensitive and in combination with the lush organ sound a very compelling element. The information booklet mentions many bands that were an inspiration, in my opinion VDGG, early PINK FLOYD, ATOMIC ROOSTER and IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO were the main sources.

Just released: Areknames Live, what a stunning live album with an omnipresent, often compelling Hammond organ sound, from powerful runs and swirling solos to sumptuous eruptions and psychedelic sounds, goose bumps and highly recommended!

Wicked Minds: This new Italian band Wicked Minds is a ‘musical time-machine’ that brings you back to the heavy progressive sound of the exciting Seventies era: a Hammond organ (lots of swirling soli) and fiery and biting (often wah-wah) guitar drenched sound and David Byron like vocals in simple but very catchy and compelling songs that will appeal to fans of mainly Uriah Heep but also Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster and even Jimi Hendrix. You can get a good impression of their exciting music on the CD/DVD set entitled Witchflower (including videos and concerts in Italy and Belgium) and the album Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2006.

 

b)      The important role of the Hammond organ in the Seventies Heavy Progressive Rock

 

In the very early Seventies many bands emerged that combined a powerful Hammond organ sound with harder-edged guitarwork. This delivered exciting and dynamic music with a lot of tension between the approach of JS Bach inspired keyboard players and Jimi Hendrix oriented guitarists, supported by powerhouse rhythm-sections and good singers. This movement was named The Heavy Progressive Rock and speerheaded by Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. Their live albums Made In Japan and Live are true their masterpieces, loaded with excellent work on the Hammond organ by Jon Lord and Ken Hensley.

In the slipstream of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep followed bands like Quatermass, Black Widow, Mainhorse (with great work by Patrick Moraz) and ....

Atomic Rooster, known as the band that hosted Carl Palmer before he founded the trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But after Carl his departure, Atomic Rooster started to sound more and more interesting, thanks to guitarist and vocalist John DuCann who joined the band in 1970. Immediately he went on tour with the band. When bass player Graham left the band keyboardist Crane refused to replace him and started playing bass lines on the lower part of Hammond organ. To compensate the fact that he couldn't use his left hand to press down chords on the lower manual he created a 'burning' style of playing, often in furious interplay with DuCann. When Carl Palmer left Atomic Rooster to join Keith Emerson and Greg Lake left for supergroup ELP Rick Parnell shortly replaced him. John and Vincent were not satisfied about his skills and had to replace him by Paul Hammond, an extremely good drummer from a local band called Farm. Soon the trio started to develop their influential 'heavy progressive' sound: hard edged progressive music with a swirling Hammond B3 organ and fiery guitarplay. The interplay between John's guitar and Vince organ is hot and often furious. In fact this powerful sound was the precursor to 'progressive metal', many metal- acts from The Eighties pointed at Atomic Rooster as their main source. In '89 it was all over for Atomic Rooster because of Crane's tragical death, he commited suicide. On the great compilation album The First 10 Explosive Years (my favorite Atomic Rooster CD) you will be blown away by the dynamic sound, loaded with short but magnificent soli on guitar and organ, energetic drums and powerful vocals.

 
                        ATOMIC%20ROOSTER:%20dvd
 
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Edited by erik neuteboom - November 22 2007 at 09:21
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 11:19
Wow! Fantastic work Erik and very interesting reading. I especially enjoyed your story of your meeting with Thijs Van Leer. Big%20smile
 
I also admire Dave Greenslade and a big fan of Bedside Manners are Extra. I agree it's the best Greenslade album.
 
I was lucky enough to see Colosseum live twice in the last 10 years and would not hesitate to go and see them again.


Edited by Nightfly - November 21 2007 at 11:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 11:29
 
                            Thanks Paul .. but now I need a beer Wink
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 11:30
Originally posted by erik neuteboom erik neuteboom wrote:

 
                            Thanks Paul .. but now I need a beer Wink
 
 
 
 
LOL I'm not surprised Erik!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 12:41
Thank you Erik for bringing Brian Auger to the forefront where he belongs!
"Literature is well enough, as a time-passer, and for the improvement and general elevation and purification of mankind, but it has no practical value" - Mark Twain
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 14:31
Well Chicapah, thank you too (and Easy Money) for the reviews, for sure I will check out your recommendations Thumbs%20Up
 
Dick Heath PMed me yesterday that he is busy with finishing his contribution, I am looking forward to it, then I will publish Part 3.
 
This afternoon I enjoyed the Riverside 2-CD version of the new album Rapid Eye Movement, it has lots of Hammond sounds on it Approve
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 17:22
Hey Erik, I like the way you focused on the lesser knowns. Certain keyboardists, talented as they may be, have already gotten plenty of attention.
Also, kudos for mentioning Santana at Woodstock, rock doesn't get much better than that.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2007 at 06:57
 
Thanks Easy Money, indeed time to focus on lesser known keyboard players and about Carlos Santana on Woodstock, what a progressive sound for that time and how exciting to witness Gregg Rolie on his Hammond organ Thumbs%20Up
 
Yesterday evening I watched the Krautrock Vol. 1 DVD, so many German bands with keyboard players that used a Hammond organ like Frumpy, Birthcontrol, Jane, Eloy and Novalis, I am looking forward to Vol. 2!
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2007 at 07:40
Absolutely blinding article so far, Erik... but for one small detail:



I hate to say this, but I believe that's a dual manual Korg CX3 he's playing - splendid keyboard with a warm & rich sound, but it's certainly not a Hammond (unless it's a model I'm unfamiliar with...), check out the lack of drawbars & poor quality of cabinet by comparison; also, they're not waterfall keys...

...how sad am I?

Edited by Jim Garten - November 22 2007 at 07:52

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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