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1.18.2005 

groove generator


There were many varieties of the Hammond organ, some designed for home use, some designed for church use, and some designed for live gigs and studio recording. But the most popular variety, and the one still commonly in use today (if you can find one that isn't too beat up) is the Hammond B-3. There is one more thing that must be described if we are to fully appreciate the character of the Hammond, and that the is the Leslie tone cabinet. The organ needed an external speaker in order to be heard, and it also needed one specially designed that had rotating speakers, so that the vibrato effects in the organ could come out. Jimmy Smith, probably the most famous, was not the only one to make a name for himself playing the Hammond. Among the many in jazz, funk, and rock are Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Joey and John DeFrancesco, Shirley Scott, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Larry Young, Don Patterson, Paul Shaffer, Don Pullen, Larry Goldings, 'Big' John Patton, Booker T. Jones, Billy Preston, Merl Saunders, Ray Manzerek, Jon Lord, Fats Waller, and so many others.

You must give some credit to Don Leslie. He invented the leslie cabnet that gives the hammond in my opinion 90% of that sound that we like so much. Don originaly worked for hammond as a research designer. When he showed hammond the leslie cabnet hammond didn't like it at all. He also told Don to quit working on it. Don left the company and started designing leslie cabnets on his own. There was a lot of rivalry. But eventualy no one owned a hammond without a leslie cabnet. That is one reason you will find a lot of original hammond organs with a leslie cabnet that doesn't match the wood grain or color.

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