With its strong connection to Gospel, Soul and R&B music, the the Hard Bop era of the 1950s and 1960s with its highly distinctive sound gracing many classic albums.rose to popularity in in
But whilst it may have emerged as a niche voice in all types of this music., we now have more than half a century of recordings to prove that the instrument has a place in
Of course, there are many more we could have included so feel free to highlight your favourites in the comments section at the end.
Such was the impact that his specific technique and the way he set up his Leslie speaker) is emulated by players to this day. (complete with
A prolific musician, he recorded more than 35 albums for Blue Note records in just 8 years, quickly establishing himself as an A-list star on the American scene.
died in 2005 after more than half a century of performing, leaving behind a legacy which continues to inform and inspire the new generation of – not to mention musicians in genres including funk, hip hop and contemporary pop music.
Born in 1971, Hank Mobley by the time he was 10 years old!) and signed his first record deal aged just 16. emerged as a child prodigy (he was playing in a band with
Over the subsequent decades, he’s been known to tour 200+ days per year and released more than 30 albums.
Highlights include a live album featuring his hero , a tribute to Michael Jackson and an album featuring Van Morrison on vocals.
Born in 1942 and performing right through to his death in 2021, American Lonnie Smith cut his teeth on many 60s Blue Note Records (including several with alto sax giant ), developing a sound which fused R&B, funk and .
He toured extensively with (which led to an affiliation with Creed Taylor’s CTI Records) before forging ahead with his solo career which experimented with the 70s fusion and even disco sound.
Whilst he toured and played consistently, he came full circle towards the end of his career in the 2010s, recording more straight modern tenor titan Joe Lovano. albums for Blue Note, including with
[Editor’s note: I expectedly ended up on a minibus with Lonnie Smith at Java Festival in Jakarta in 2017; surrounded by young musicians, he entertained everyone the whole trip with stories of his early days as a hard-up musician living in New York!]
Yet another Hammond who owed his early sound to the great , (born 1940) came out of the late 50s/early 60s hard bop (and ) scene, performing with stalwarts such as Hank Mobley and .
But whilst his early sound was heavily influenced by the R&B music of his childhood, his work in the 1960s pushed the boundaries of into more experimental and avant-garde playing.
As with many contemporaries at the time, this blend of styles merged into what we now call fusion and Young can be heard on some of the most important early Bitches Brew (Miles Davis) and Emergency! (Tony Williams). fusion recordings of all time; notably
Young died aged just 37 in 1978, leaving many unanswered questions about how the in might have evolved under his stewardship.
Born in 1934, women instrumentalists were seriously underrepresented. was a true pioneer emerging as a leading when
Nicknamed ‘Queen of the bebop stylings. ’ her music (as with many hammond players) mixed the Gospel and blues sound out of which the instrument became popular with more intricate and technically advanced
Scott caught the wave of Hammond B-3 popularity in the late 1950s/early 60s, recording with Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis and husband-to-be amongst other big names of the era.
Whilst her star waned with the in the 70s and 80s, she experienced something of a revival in the 90s, recording a series of albums (featuring her on piano) before her death in 2002.
Born in 1968, American is one of the most influential players of his generation.
Originally a classically trained pianist (which probably explains the ferocious technique!) it wasn’t until his early 20s that he started to focus on the as his primary instrument.
Whilst his technique and creativity has made him a firm favourite amongst serious fans, his highly distinctive sound has seen him an in-demand session player with a variety of artists including John Mayer, Melody Gardot and .
Goldings’ long-running 21st Century modern space. with Peter Bernstein (guitar) and Bill Stewart (drums) pays tribute to the classic format, whilst pushing it firmly into the
Grammy-nominated and winner of Downbeat Magazine’s 2016 rising star poll, (b. 1975) has established himself as one of the leading organists on the international scene.
Noted by legendary Downbeat magazine for matching a deep knowledge of history with his own voice (“while he is a proponent of the classic sound, he’s not confined by it”) he has built a reputation as a ferocious improviser and technician.
As with most of the best hammond trio line up ( -guitar-drums) – in his case with guitar icon . in history, a portion of his output has been in the classic
His playing with hard bop legend also links him inextricably to the tradition.
Now based in New York and a faculty member of renowned Berklee College of Music, he has released seven albums under his own name, with guests including , Peter Bernstein, Kevin Mahogany and . vibraphonist Joe Locke
The latest (2021) is a tribute to the iconic Stevie Wonder.
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International jazz booking agent, manager and host of Jazzfuel.
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