The Hammond is an organ…not just any organ mind, but the organists organ…a wonderful blend of soulful sound originally developed for use in the small churches and chapels that litter America.
It was in the late 50s and early 60s that the first wave of jazz organists literally dragged the Hammond out of the church, kicking and screaming into the modernist age. Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff and Dr Lonnie Smith were among the first (but by no means the last) to discover its unique tone, especially when combined with the revolutionary Leslie rotational speaker.
Here in Britain, the flag was flown most strongly by both Georgie Fame and Brian Auger amongst many others. The Hammond Organ, (usually the legendary C-3 or B-3 configuration) was adopted by the mods, and came to represent the clipped image of jazz and r n b that was played at the Flamingo and the Scene…but it didn’t end with mods – Deep Purple, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin (all groups with their early years firmly rooted in the mod tradition) ensured the mighty organs survival right up until the punk explosion.
The Hammond had a triumphant return with the James Taylor Quartet, who’s 1986 45, The Theme From Blow Up spent three months in the indie charts and became a favourite of legendary dj John Peel. Since then there’s been no looking back.
Acid Jazz Records’s Hammond St. series is a collection celebrating the diversity of this extraordinary instrument, blending soul, jazz, psych, deep funk and mod pop.
Featuring a selection of choice oldies plus some of the top Hammond bands on the planet at the moment, this series is well worth checking out.