Jazz @ the Library - The Hammond B3 Organ in Jazz


Tuesday July 15 2008
7:00pm - Woodward Park Library

Join JazzFresno for free lecture and discussion about the unique and influential sound of the Hammond organ in jazz and beyond. The Hammond Company began production of electric organs in 1935 as a substitute for pipe organs and a replacement for pianos in middle class home, and for use by radio stations. Widely used at military chapels during World War II, soldiers familiar with Hammond organs contributed to the instrument's post war popularity. At the same time, many churches began purchasing the Hammond as an inexpensive organ option. With many musicians getting their start playing in church, they made the Hammond a fixture in black gospel groups, and took it along as they moved into blues, R&B and jazz.

The Hammond organ was “transplanted” into Jazz as Wild Bill Davis developed the organ trio; Jimmy Smith re-invented the use of the organ as an instrument for solo improvisation, and created what we now define as the "soul jazz" sound. In 1955, the famed "B-3" model hit the scene, finding talented young musicians to create broad, new musical directions for the instrument. With the organ in the hands of artists like Jack McDuff, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Charles Earland, Ray Charles, James Brown, Shirley Scott, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper, and in groups like Santana, Steppenwolf, and The Young Rascals, it developed diverse new listening audiences. It’s fair to say Laurens Hammond, the inventor of  Hammond Organs, will go down as the greatest “organ donor” of all time. The talk will be led by JazzFresno General Manager John Baker.

Woodward Park Regional Library - 944 E Perrin Ave - Fresno, CA 93720