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The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B by Mark Vail

Mark Vail is a cheerleading fan of the B-3 and its mandatory Leslie speakers. He walks us through more than you might ever wish to know about the instrument. In conversational style, here is its history; how to buy one, and even how to care for and feed it.

The legends share their tips on playing techniques in Chapter Seven. These include jazz players like Jimmy McGriff, Tom Coster, the late Richard “Groove” Holmes and Joey DeFrancesco. Plus non-jazzers Rod Argent, Keith Emerson, Paul Shaffer, Booker T. Jones and one Rosemary Bailey.

“25 Hammond Licks You Must Know” are also included.

Keyboard relatives of the B-3 are detailed in another chapter, followed by a “Hammondography” describing the author’s favorite B-3 recordings. These include some by jazz players.

Like some instructional videos on the B-3? Or Barbara Dennerlein’s B-3 sampling CD? Descriptions of and sources for these are also included.

This is one very interesting book. Especially if you’re ready to venture really deep into the B-3’s innards.

Originally Published