Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jazz Organ Documentary/B3 Player Online Magazine

There are limited resources in regards to finding video reference material on jazz and its musicians. Its out there, and if you're looking for it you can find it.

Even more difficult to find is information relating to jazz organ, and looking for it may not produce any quick results.

The number of instructional books on jazz organ could be counted on one hand. The same is true with biographical info on jazz organists, and videos, particularly of the jazz organ legends, are similarly few and far between.

Its something of a tragedy for those of us who hold jazz organ near to our hearts. Many of the jazz organists that we have discussed are up in years have only recently passed on-Jimmy Smith passed away in February 2006, Jimmy McGriff is still alive and playing but reports indicate that he is not in good health.

I want to make you aware of a couple of resources that are beginning to change that.

One is a video documentary called Hammond Heroesthat is being made celebrating the jazz organists that pioneered the art form. It's a work in progress, and if the trailer that you can see for free is any indication of what's to come, it should be a good one.

Of course I will tell you that they are looking for donors to help fund the project and you're welcome to do that.

Beyond that, this is something that will be major when it hits, hopefully providing wider awareness and inspiration to future performers on jazz organ.

The other is B3 Player Magazine, an online subscription that is providing a much needed service to increase education and awareness of Hammond organ playing.

With Editor in Chief Josiah Hoskins at the helm, this magazine focuses on the how-tos of Hammond organ playing, specifically but not limited to jazz organ playing.

The first issue focused on Tony Monaco who is an incredible jazz organist right in the jazz organ tradition.

The current issue focuses on Red Young, now of Dallas who has played with some big name talent. He is a proficient jazz organist who has developed his own style, he states he has been influenced by Black popular music in the 50s and 60s including Ray Charles and Jimmy Smith.

Currently he is on tour with guitarist Eric Burdon.

The next issue of B3 Player magazine will focus on the current reigning jazz organ king Joey DeFrancesco and the late Jimmy Smith. Josiah was able to talk not only to Joey but Jimmy's
previous manager, and Joey's dad, Papa John DeFrancesco.

Not only does Josiah provide biographical info, but also provides transcriptions and audio examples to help students of the B3 add to their knowledge.

Josiah states subscriptions are coming in every day, and he is incredibly excited about getting to interview the top people in the jazz organ world and promoting the good news about jazz organ.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 5:44 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 5:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can we see these documentaries somewhere?


At 8:40 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Hi, I don't think anything ever became of the 'Hammond Heroes' jazz organ documentary. The website seems to be dead. I found this:

Here is a iive Jimmy Smith concert from back in the day, maybe France?

Here is a West German documentary that was done on him about the same time. Includes other jazz greats of the period:

I used to write for magazine. The last I heard from Josiah is that he got cancer. I tried to contact him on Facebook, no response. Contacted his daughter, no response....


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