ORGANized! (Favorite and Classic Organ Performances)

JOv2

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Back to Walter. I have a cherished memory from the late '60s associating Summer Samba with the local drive-in theatre...as a five-year-old and the anticipation of watching a film on that huge screen...while over the speaker hanging on the door of our '63 Fury III that memorable organ melody is heard. It's been lodged in my head since 1968-69.

Zip up to round about 2005 or so...it took some time to get a feel for his unique technique where the melody was more or less comped while the left hand just held whole note voicings with little interplay. Walter also didn't use the partial stops that give it that signature "greasy hammond" sound; rather, he avoided the partials, which is why many critics say his sound was akin to a roller-rink organ.


jazz-1-1.jpg
 

Harry

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Heard "Time Of The Season" by the Zombies with a big organ solo,
 

Rudy

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Walter also didn't use the partial stops that give it that signature "greasy hammond" sound; rather, he avoided the partials, which is why many critics say his sound was akin to a roller-rink organ.
I'll have to play with that on my Hammond emulator...
 

JOv2

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The partials are 5⅓', 2⅔', 1 3/5' and 1⅓'. Basically, if you don't use these your Hammond sounds like a calliope.

(The numerical sequence on each bar correspoond to volume settings (like a potentiometer) for each voice while the number labelling the drawbar itself represents the pipe organ "pipe length" equivalent. Note how 16', 8', 4', 2', 1', are all doubles -- each is an octave apart. The partials, on the other hand, fall within the octave. I'm not sure why partials were developed but I suspect it was to add overtones. The reason Hammond has it over Wurlitzer, Lowrey and others was because the drawbars controlled the tibia (flute) bank of stops, which were the most pleasing of the generated sounds. The other consumer organ companies just had straight stops with no individual step-wise volume controls. The drawbars allowed subtle (and not so subtle!) tonal shadings that have been an allure for organists for 80 or so years. Where vintage electronic organs are essentially worthless today, vintage Hammonds remain sought after...and its just for that one sonic attribute.)
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Rudy

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I figured the partials were the non-octave drawbars. I'm not familiar enough yet with everything, but at least I'm figuring out the black and the second red drawbar are all the partials. And yes, from what I've read, the overtones from the partials are part of the Hammond's desirability.

I've been playing with the emulator a bit and couldn't hit on Wanderley's sound. Turns out it was simpler than the partials--I found a list of drawbar registrations and it showed his sound as:

80 0000 000 (2nd Percussion), so...

1664670729199.png 1664670741602.png

...and what I was missing is that I had too many drawbars partially open and had 3rd harmonic rather than 2nd. I knew I was hearing some sort of overtone, and it was that 2nd harmonic/percussion that nailed it. Without having the MIDI keyboard attached (I'm poking at it with the mouse right now), it does sound pretty much dead-on.

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Also, the Leslie is off. That is also why the tone is "flat."

16 years ago, this post came close also:

Being an owner of a Hammond myself, though not a B3, I've experimented with some drawbars and thought that this registration comes pretty close to Walter's sound on Rain Forest:

8 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

or, in another way, 16' + 4' with Leslie chorale. Seems like this combination was popular with other organists as well.

(I wonder where @seashorepiano ever went to...)


BTW, the emulator has a "Mr. Jimmy Smith" preset, and it's close to what I found online.

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The online list I found:

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The emulator has Vibrato off, but does have "four up" meaning the righthand switches are set to 3rd Percussion.

The same site also has a list of standard jazz registrations, which is interesting...

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JOv2

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Walter is definitely using 16 + 4 on Summer Samba.

My organ teacher, from 4th to 8th grade, went to Brazil and became hooked on the music. She turned me on to Jobim when I was in 5th / 6th grade and that's how I got into the Brazilian bag (she also told me to use 16 + 4 when playing bossa nova charts). In a brief chance conversation I had with Clare Fischer round about 1990 or so, when I asked about his "Leslie-less" organ work on Cal Tjader's Sona Libre, he told me that he purposely did not use the Leslie because the Brazilian organists didn't use it. (He told me he "had a fight" with Creed Taylor about it because Creed wanted the Leslie. Conjecture tells me that Creed wanted the Leslie sound on the LP because it was a "sound" that would help to sell the record.)

I never owned a Hammond, but I got to play quite a few over the years (normally in studios). As I recall, the percussion tabs were the "key attack" (not to be confused with "key click" -- that's a different animal...just the intermittent sound of bad contacts actually!). Essentially you'll always have 16' out full (8) -- and then taper off as needed as you go to the shorter stops. When you build your stack, you'll want to bookend your partials and, of course, keep them relatively low so the don't dominate the octaves. I like to think of the partials as spices: a little does a lot -- particularly 5⅓. (I question that Smith pulled 5 ⅓ out full as it can really take over. I checked out a little bit of House Party and The Sermon on YouTube: Smith is definitely using 16 + 5⅓ + 8 with percussion.) Personally I always fancied a "wide hole"... like 16 + 2⅔ + 2 and with a bit of attack; sometimes I would add a tad of 8 and 5⅓ to close the bottom gap -- but I like that hole up to the partials below 2.

Have fun!
 

Rudy

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Very helpful, thanks!

On Soña Libre, I always wondered what kind of organ it was and actually, same for Wanderley's--I was more used to hearing the organ in a blues setting, which of course goes full-bore on the Leslie. So it surprised me that both were Hammonds. With Fischer's setup on that album, I'm not hearing the percussion, which to my ears (with and without) seems like it adds overtones of its own to produce that "key attack" that you mention.

There's also a minor but noticeable difference between 2nd and 3rd harmonic on the percussion--that's why I couldn't nail Wanderley's sound since I was on 3rd rather than 2nd.

I have to say that this emulator (from Arturia) does a more than convincing job at various keyboards--it wasn't cheap, but it certainly gets "close enough" in what it does. All the instruments in the suite (it includes a lot of classic keyboards like the Clavinet, Wurlitzer and Farfisa organs, Rhodes stage piano, classic synthesizers, etc.) along with a bank of foot pedal effects that many used with these keyboards. Sure the real things are still preferred, but the cost of something like a Hammond B3 alone would knock the cost way out of what most of us could afford, then throw in a Rhodes and a few others. That, and where would I keep them? I already had to sell the family piano over a decade ago since I was tired of moving it myself, and didn't have room to keep it. (I eventually want to get a digital grand since it has the proper key action for a piano.)

I can pick up Yamaha keyboards cheaply enough--two of those, and a set of foot pedals, and I can have my own "budget" Hammond. 😁
 

JOv2

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You're welcome!

The A, B, and C, Hammonds were all the same model: the "A" series was the home version of the B-3: the only difference was it had a nicer cabinet and internal loudspeakers. (If you want to have that B-3 sound, just find an A -- it's a fraction of the cost...of course it doesn't have the B look). The "B"series has no built-in amplification, so it was played though external loudspeakers. The "C" was the "church" version of the "B" -- it was a B with a different cabinet.

Clare was probably playing a B -- but obviously driven through external amplification. I could only imagine Creed's face when Cal and the group showed up for the session: Creed had the organ and a Leslie all set...and the first thing Clare does is have the engineer find another external amp + speaker to plug into! In the liner notes Cal essentially states the LP was with Clare at the helm -- and Creed had to back down given that Cal was pretty hot at the time and that he wanted the LP to be driven by Clare.

On Hip Walk Clare opens the LP with a comping lick that incorporates a bass part (played on the lower manual with his left hand [16 + 8] and the voicing (on the upper manual) with subtle partials (probably just a little 5⅓ not unlike Jimmy Smith) He's also using tremolo -- which sounds very nice. Now compare that to Sally's Tomato where at the organ break at 1:20 Clare adds those upper partials and with NO tremolo...and the organ totally changes with the straight tone (check out the comping around 2:20). Gives me goose bumps every time!

During 1974-79, I was an organ junkie. Though trumpet was my instrument, I quickly fell into the whole organ thing: melody (right hand) + accompaniment (left hand) + bass (left foot) -- to a ten-year-old, the thought of being your own "one-man-band" (with an on-board rhythm box!) was much more enticing than playing a monotonal intsrument. Although Hammond had those beautiful tonewheel-driven tibias, their organ weighed like 400 lb + and it had mechanical parts that needed maintanance -- by the late '60s with everything going solid state, this was a liability relative to Kimbal, Thomas and others whose organs were 100% electronic and required no maintenance (aside from cleaning the keyboard contacts). Even more important for the pop musician was the "new" need for pedal sustain. Hammond's were more expensive (given the tone wheels among other things) and focused on the upper-middle class market who, during 1950-70, were quite conservative in their musical tastes -- so the need to create a bass sound with sustain -- to emulate the string bass in jazz combos or (gulp!) the electric bass guitar in rock and roll (e.g., "the Devil's music") was not considered. However, once Andy Williams, Nat Cole, Dean Martin and essentially everyone and their uncle started copping Bert Kaempfert's Danelectro bass sound, there was a sudden market-driven need to get bass sustain on the organ. Hammond resisted well into the late '60s while all the other brands added it. The sustain immediately opened up pedalboard: no longer did organists need to learn "heel-toe" technique or use both feet (like the classical musicians). (The other brands also had rhythm boxes to support the '60s change in pop music; again Hammond resisted...but that's another discussion.)

I checked the Hammond website and they still make that "portable B-3" they first introduced about about 15 years back. There are no tonewheels of course but you have the pedalboard. I considered one of these back around '09...I got married instead.

Oh, another thing about the foot pedals. Jazz organists rarely use them (for obvious reasons: in a nut shell -- using a foot (or even both feet) cannot approximate anything close to what jazz string bassists do with two hands; in response, jazz organists, if they're playing the bass part (in the classic jazz organ trio) they'll be playing it in the left hand on the lower manual (16' stop). The foot pedals are fine in less-demanding music (you know root-V stuff) but there's also the limitation of the pedalboard layout (e.g., 2-octaves; it's impossible to access the right octave with your left foot; and it's more of a clunky technique -- not really smooth). For bass pedals, try a simple 8' tibia voicing (I always found the 16' to be too low) and of course, you'll need sustain for nearly all of your footwork.
 
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Mike Blakesley

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The reason Hammond has it over Wurlitzer, Lowrey and others was because the drawbars controlled the tibia (flute) bank of stops, which were the most pleasing of the generated sounds. The other consumer organ companies just had straight stops with no individual step-wise volume controls.


Well, thanks to the above text, I just won an argument I had back in 1975.

I learned on a Hammond organ, and did all my practicing on a Hammond Spinet that my grandparents had. Some friends of ours got a Lowrey organ which they thought was the best thing going with all of its various pre-sets. I said that the Hammond was better because you could do these infinite variations in the sounds, but my friend Mark was bragging about all the pre-sets on their Lowrey "plus it has the drum machine built-in," he said. So now after 47 years I have another witness that the Hammond was indeed the better machine.
 

JOv2

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Well, thanks to the above text, I just won an argument I had back in 1975.
You're welcome, Mike.

We had a Lowrey, there was a Thomas across the street, a Wurlitzer two houses over and a Kimbel two blocks over. Those were all I ever knew at the time (other than our Church which had a Rogers I think). I was too young then to comprehend the musicality of the Hammond and was easily swayed by all those marketing bells and whistles: attractively multi-coloured stops, all those pre-sets you mentioned, the "magic" features (e.g., pitch pending, automatic glassandi), and of course Wurlitizer's Orbit 3 Synthesizer -- a real synth that was quite a big deal at that time given it was on a consumer line organ). Once I was in college, however, I quickly realized the honest musical advantage Hammond held, which is why vintage Hammonds are sought after while a Lowrey organ that retailed for $5,000 in 1975 (about $25,000 in 2023 money! Yikes!!!) is utterly worthless, today.

Your Hammond spinet had the 1-octave pedalboard. I think it had drawbars only for the top manual (looking at a 1969 ad, it looks like that was the case). Great organ -- and looking back, I wish we had your organ as opposed to the Lowrey.
 

Rudy

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All those presets, if I recall, had names like Trumpet, etc. My uncle had one of those, and I'd played with it a few times. As a kid it was kind of cool (at that age, anything with a lot of buttons/levers/knobs was cool!), but I'd also never seen a Hammond organ, other than perhaps seeing the name at music stores.

Another early keyboard, the Mellotron, used recorded lengths of recording tape with different sounds on them--orchestra, brass, chorus, etc. To me it always sounds like "rough approximation of strings played over an AM radio" yet on recordings from that era that used the Mellotron, the music wouldn't be the same without them. One of the emulators in the Arturia package is a Mellotron and it's another fun system to play with, especially if you're trying to emulate the sounds of well-known recordings.

I think that other than nostalgic reasons, those organ presets of the past are pretty much outdated given all the synthesizer and emulator packages available today. Emulators are quite popular on the touring circuit for musicians--in the past, they'd carry a bank of synthesizers and other keyboards and switch between them. Now, they run the emulator on a laptop, use a single keyboard, often in addition to something like a grand piano, Hammond, etc. Even if for, say, a band that played something like fusion in the early 80s, they can still get those old Yamaha or Prophet sounds via an emulator now, and only have to carry limited hardware.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Your Hammond spinet had the 1-octave pedalboard. I think it had drawbars only for the top manual (looking at a 1969 ad, it looks like that was the case).

It did have the one-octave pedals, but it had drawbars for both manuals. No presets though, just rocker switches for vibrato, volume range, attack, sustain and a couple others I don't remember. I'm not sure what year it was from but I'm guessing the 50s, because I was born in '56 and my grandparents had it by the time I was old enough to remember things! This pic I found is the closest to it, as I remember.

Vendita-Hammond-Spinette_2.jpg
 

JOv2

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All those presets, if I recall, had names like Trumpet, etc.
Bingo! And, brother, they were awful. I remember the Lowrey manual specifically stating that to achieve a "piano" sound to use trombone and add sustain. Oh, good grief! Most of those pre-sets (e.g., Hawaiian guitar, banjo, bassoon, etc) were a sonic nightmare. To a kid, it was fun, I suppose -- the different sounds and all, but with a daily diet of orchestral LPs, I rarely used any of those stops. Again, it was the tibias that made these organs listenable. Lowrey's tibias were good -- Wurtletzer's were better (mainly because Wurletzer, like Hammond, had a beautiful tremolo).

I consulted my "Hammond" book: Mike, your grandparents had an M-series Hammond. The picture is of an M-1 (1948-51) or M-2 (1951-55). In 1955, Hammond introduced the M-3, which had the percussive effect. The M-3 weighed 249lb. For all three M models the drawbars were indeed for both manuals. (I was thinking both sets were for the upper manual -- with one "pre-set" to switch to as needed...similar to the B-3 with its 4 drawbar sets -- two for each manual). It listed for $1,350 in 1955 (about $16,000 in 2023).
 

Mike Blakesley

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That sounds right.... I always thought my grandparents were rich, because they had an organ AND a piano, and my grandpa was a gadget freak (he's the one who introduced me to model trains AND good quality sound systems); and they had four cars and every "power" lawn contraption known to mankind in the 1960s. But in reality they were just hard workers; the cars were old (one was a DeSoto with a rumble seat) but well maintained and paid off, and they had built their own house and had lived in it since about 25 years before I was born.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Definitely an M-1. I found a list of all the Hammond models on Wikipedia - the difference between M-1 and M2 is, the M-2 had a selector for vibrato for each manual independently, where with the M-1 it was either "all or none" for vibrato.

I put in a lot of hours on that thing.

My keyboard teacher originally had a larger Hammond with standard keyboards and the full array of pedals. Later on, she downsized to a newer smaller organ which I think was a T-400 -- T series for sure, and this one DID have the drum machine. Eventually she decided to retire from teaching in her home, and sold the organ to my parents, so it was in our house until my mom passed away a couple of years ago. She would come to our house and give me lessons until I gave it up when I was around 16 or 17. I was pretty much over it by then. I think my mom was always kind of disappointed that I didn't keep it up, but I had started getting asked to play for weddings and funerals which I hated doing (because I'm definitely NOT an on-stage-performer type of person), so that probably helped push me out of wanting to continue.
 

JOv2

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but I had started getting asked to play for weddings and funerals which I hated doing (because I'm definitely NOT an on-stage-performer type of person), so that probably helped push me out of wanting to continue.
Wow! I never got to do weddings (or funerals...); on the other hand, I was getting calls to do fashion shows, civic and school functions and my favourite -- the annual Santa Barbara county fair. Like you experienced, I burned out on organ at the same age you did and found the piano to be more to my liking (for writing and arranging) and then by chance heard Cannonball Adderley's debut LP in my 2nd year in college (while everyone else it seemed what into jazz/rock fusion, I found my muse with mid-'50s jazz)...which helped me to better focus my trumpet playing goals (thanks first to Nat Adderley!!!) and set me up for the rest of my musical life.
 

lj

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Here is Perez Prado--the Mambo King--and his #1 Billboard hit "Patricia" from 1958. A great follow-up to his massive hit "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White".

 

lj

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Here is Henry Mancini from 1960 and his "Mr. Lucky" theme from the TV series by the same name. This beautiful song has the "Mancini Sound" written all over it. A follow-up to his monster hit "Peter Gunn" from the TV series by the same name.

 

lj

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Back to Walter. I have a cherished memory from the late '60s associating Summer Samba with the local drive-in theatre...as a five-year-old and the anticipation of watching a film on that huge screen...while over the speaker hanging on the door of our '63 Fury III that memorable organ melody is heard. It's been lodged in my head since 1968-69.

Zip up to round about 2005 or so...it took some time to get a feel for his unique technique where the melody was more or less comped while the left hand just held whole note voicings with little interplay. Walter also didn't use the partial stops that give it that signature "greasy hammond" sound; rather, he avoided the partials, which is why many critics say his sound was akin to a roller-rink organ.

The guy with the glasses on the Gilberto/Wanderley album is Claudio Slon-- the Brasil 66/77 drummer. "Summer Samba"--the song and arrangement is musical perfection.
jazz-1-1.jpg
 

Rudy

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Here is Henry Mancini from 1960 and his "Mr. Lucky" theme from the TV series by the same name. This beautiful song has the "Mancini Sound" written all over it. A follow-up to his monster hit "Peter Gunn" from the TV series by the same name.

I would have to read up on it, but I think when Mancini went to record the Mr. Lucky Goes Latin album, the organist from this album, Buddy Cole, demanded too much money, and I believe Jimmy Rowles (keyboardist for many of Mancini's albums) stepped in for the Goes Latin album. Oddly, many consider that one to be a soundtrack album, were it's not. I believe it was riffing on the idea of "latinizing" the theme song and doing a variation on the cool cover art of the original with the one-eyed cat, as not one of the tunes from the record appeared in the series (which only lasted two seasons--network censors felt that gambling was a bad influence, so they converted the casino yacht into a dining yacht).
 
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