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Rusell Malone quoteI’ve always felt that jazz is the way in which something is done. The material can come from anywhere — what makes it jazz is the way you approach it.
Dr. Lonnie Smith quoteI really was thinking Jimmy Smith but it just always came out different
The five hundredth album has arrived, Anthem
If you agree with the assertion that jazz is a relatively small part of all the music in this world and organ jazz is merely a niche within jazz, you could be (pleasantly) surprised by the diversity within this niche. A real reviewer would now come up with all kinds of different coloured paints to create a picture of this small part of the jazz landscape. Let me disappoint you by making a confession: I do not know where and how to start and feel a little embarrassed about it.
After listening to organ jazz for several years, sometimes for hours a day, I know a lot more then when I started. I have learned to recognize a lot of organists by ear. Charles Earland, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, Reuben Wilson, Barbara Dennerlein and Baby Face Willette can hardly hide for me. Not only did I get to know organists but I also got acquainted with guitarists like Grant green, Kenny Burell and Melvin Sparks to name a few, which I really enjoy and never would have known if I had never decided to delve into organ jazz. In the same way I am happy I now know trumpetists like Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd. I also discovered I have a weak spot for the vibes especially when played by Bobby Hutcherson or Cal Tjader. You will not find the latter in The Hammond Jazz Inventory but believe me, I have a life beyond this site.
Also, I have learned my jazz style preferences and I guess they are located in or near the jazz funk and soul jazz neighbourhoods. The "I guess" in the previous scentence brings me to the point I want to make; a more precise statement about the aforementioned confession and embarressement. I never have felt really comfortable with the nomenclature other "jazz" people seem to use so effortless and casual. Of course by now I know a little about bop, hard bop, cool jazz, avant-garde, soul jazz and post bop but I generally try to avoid the qualifications because I am just not sure enough. (A handicap really, when running a site like this).
I think it is for the same reason a lot of people just say "I don't like jazz". That's kind of funny; the same people not only started tapping their feet but even started to dance when I put a straight jazz record on. I don't suppose you want to maintain Lou Donaldon isn't playing jazz after all.
The previous not only is a short account of some of the things running The Hammond Jazz Inventory has brought me so far, it also is a rather long run-up for telling you I can't come up with appropriate labels for the music on the album named "Anthem", a product of organist Roy Powell, drummer Jarle Vespestad and guitarist Jacob Young.
As it happens, "Anthem" is the five hundredth album in The Hammond Jazz Inventory and I am really happy with it. It stresses that while organ jazz might be a niche in jazz, it also is an incubator for creative musicians who push the genre another step further. How these development should be named is of less importance really but I will give it a try nevertheless. This organ jazz is less accessible then the soul jazz and jazz funk I tend to favour and it probably will not tempt your guests to a spontaneous dance. In fact it is a waste of the music to put it on in a larger party. My advice is to put the record on during isolated late night idling so you can really hear the musical fabrics that are woven by
the tight collaboration between the three performing musicians. Words like "dark" and "brooding" are used to describe their music. When asked whether he would agree with my additions of "an experimental flavour" and "a touch of avant garde" Roy Powell answered positive while emphesizing the lyrical song-like aspects of some tracks. What would you make of that? I suggest you visit the "Anthem" page, listen to some samples and then make up your mind.
To wrap up this post; when you hear music, listen to it in the same manner like you should taste wine when drinking it. The taxonomy is for later, for books and encyclopedias. I know The Hammond Jazz Inventory is neither complete or perfect but I hope you will visit once in a while to look for something tasty while I keep on searching for more. "Anthem" as album five hundred is a remarkable landmark in the history of my pet project. I am already working on the next 500.
Back8 comments., write a comment
Hammond Dedication 500 !!
Wow Taeke S. Tuinstra has done it, such passion, dedication and committment to reach the 500th Hammond Album. Congratulations Taeke and thank you so much for keeping the Hammond flame alive!
Regards Ray Vanderby
Thank you Taeke
Thank you so much for your continuous effort and great support to Jazz organ and jazz organists ...
Amitiés du Pacifique Sud..
Thanks, Taeke, Your efforts are much appreciated!
Clifford "Buck" England
Taeke - Your comments are both honest and authentic. I love the way you approach this whole subject of jazz organ... as if you are a student looking for the answers in a library of music. I, too, am a student in this library with a deep love of this musical genre. I enjoy learning something new each and every day. Your quest has brought you to instruments and musical forms that might not have occurred to you. It is true that jazz organ is a microcosm within a microcosm but it is like nothing else in terms of sheer power and musical energy. To be a lover of jazz is unique in and of itself but to actually be drawn to jazz organ and appreciate those who play jazz organ is truly a profound distinction in one's musical awareness. Believe me when I say; "There's nothing like a Hammond organ groove"
Thanks for keeping this going with such dedication, Taeke. It is true that jazz organ is a small niche in a sea of music, but it sure means a lot to anyone who reads your site and learns about new artists they haven't heard of in the past.
Great article! Pleasure to read it. You are doing a great job maintaining and promoting this inventory of beautiful music.
Laurens and Don would be very proud ;-) !!
There's no jazz like draw-bar-jazz...
HAMMOND JAZZ for ever
There is no instrument that has this status as the HAMMOND B3. Everybody talking about and listening to that instrument has that special glow in his/her eyes. The fascination of these dinosaurs is still there and will be lasting for ever. Thank you for keeping this beautiful music in the public. As someone who is having the HAMMOND Virus since his youth and still hauling a B3 around, I greatly appreciate your work for this very beautiful instrument. All the best.