Funky16Corners Radio v.59 – Hammond Madness!
Georgie Fame – The In Crowd (Imperial)
Jackie Ivory – Thank Heaven (Atco)
Mark 3 Trio – Mr G (Downhill)
Al Kooper – Soul Hoedown (UA)
Bill Doggett – Fingertips (Columbia)
Leon Haywood – A River’s Invitation (Convoy)
RD Stokes – Partying Groove (II Bros)
Art Jerry Miller – Mod Strut (Enterprise)
Doc Bagby – Mix It Up (VIM)
Gene Ludwig – Sticks and Stones Pt1 (Atlantic)
Hollis Floyd – Everything Is Everything (Silloh)
Keith Mansfield Orchestra – Moanin; (Pronit)
Richard Groove Holmes – 1-2-3 (Prestige)
David Rockingham – Little Davie (Dee Dee)
Odell Brown – Hard to Handle (Cadet)
Bobby Emmons – Blue Organ (Hi)
I hope the new week finds you well, and ready to download, reload and grease up the joint with a steaming plate of Hammond.
The mix I bring you today is the tenth Hammond-theme edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast. Since Funky16Corners Radio v.8 (Hammond Internationale) back in August of 2006, we’ve covered funk, soul, R&B, long players, and the Hammond stylings of James Brown (to date the only single-artist Hammond mix). If you don’t know by now, that I ride hard for some Hammond*, you haven’t been paying attention.
The mix we bring you today, F16Rv.59, has some unusual things by some old faves, a couple of rarities and as always, a surplus of groove.
Things get started with a smoking version of Alvin Cash’s ‘Twine Time’ by the great Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of DBC’s mid-period Roulette stuff, but it does contain some gems, and this track is a case in point.
Georgie Fame has appeared in this space many times before. Known best to fans of British Beat, Fame was a great Mose Allison/Jon Hendricks influenced vocalist as well as a killer organist. His albums always included a couple of instrumental workouts (including one of my all time faves ‘El Bandido’), and his version of Dobie Gray’s ‘The In Crowd’ is a great example.
I don’t know much about Jackie Ivory. I was first hepped to his playing via a mix sent to me by a friend, and eventually picked up a jukebox EP of his on the Atco label. His sound was a lot more jazz than soul, but groovy nonetheless.
The Mark 3 Trio is one of my personal Hammond ‘white whales’. As far as I can tell, there were probably two different organ trios working under that name. The first, recorded for IN, Atco and Wingate. The other (the one in this mix) recorded an extremely rare LP at (and released by) a ski lodge, and featured none other than a young Grover Washington Jr. on sax. The fidelity on the LP is very poor, so forgive any weakness in sound quality.
Al Kooper’s ‘Soul Hoedown’ is a track from his soundtrack to a very cool film, ‘The Landlord’. Though the tune is short, it does sport a drum break, and some great playing by Kooper.
Bill Doggett was one of the greatest masters of soul jazz organ, recording classic sides for many labels, including the crate diggers staple ‘Honky Tonk Popcorn’. He recorded a couple of LPs for Columbia, including 1963s ‘Fingertips’. The title track, a cover of the Little Stevie Wonder classic is a swinging killer. If you can find the album, grab it as it also includes ‘The Worm’.
Leon Haywood is best known as a singer of sweet soul like ‘It’s Got to Be Mellow’ but those in the know will tell you that he was also an organist, often placing instrumentals on the B-sides of his vocal 45s. Prior to his establishment as a vocalist, he recorded a number of instro-only 45s for a variety of labels. His cover of Percy Mayfield’s ‘River’s Invitation’ is one of the best.
I can’t tell you anything about R.D. Stokes, other than that he recorded two 45s, and that he’s my second favorite organist from Watts, following Labert Ellis. While ‘Partying Groove’ may lack the ferocious attack of ‘My Sandra’s Jump’ (which appeared in Funky16Corners Radio v.23.5, Old School Hammond) but it’s still very cool.
Art Jerry Miller is another one of those shadowy figures whose name pops up here and there on a number of Memphis recordings. He apparently worked with Willie Mitchell (he wrote the slamming ‘Up Hard’), prior to recording a 45 and an entire LP for the Stax subsidiary Enterprise, which included the track ‘Mod Strut’.
Doc Bagby was an old school Hammond player of the first order, laying down a long string of wax for many, many labels through the 50’s and 60’s. He never really made it into soul jazz (or out and out soul) but recorded some outstanding R&B, of which ‘Mix Up’ is my personal favorite. It’s one of those records that sound like its recording produced a strain on the equipment in the studio, needles in the red, vibes verily jumping from the grooves.
Gene Ludwig is the epitome of the Hammond aficionado’s favorite. Not well known to the rank and file, yet treasured by those in the know, Ludwig has been a master of the keyboard for six decades. He recorded for a number of small labels (and a few nationals like Mainstream and Atlantic). His version of Ray Charles ‘Sticks and Stones’ is ond of his finest.
Other than the fact that he hailed from Philly (like so many great organists), and got his start working alongside Philly legend Johnny Styles, I can’t tell you much about Hollis Floyd. Though I’m partial to his swinging cover of the Chi Lites ‘Have You Seen Her’, the tune in today’s mix, ‘Everything is Everything’ (the flip of the sought after ‘Black Poncho is Coming’) is excellent.
Keith Mansfield is one of the kings of the UK Library music field. His version of Bobby Timmons’ soul jazz standard ‘Moanin’ hails from the ‘All You Need Is Keith Mansfield’, which also included the original version of ‘Soul Thing’ (the one with the snappy break). I’m not positive, but I suspect the organist here is none other than Alan Hawkshaw (he of the Mohawks).
Richard Groove Holmes is another one of the accepted past masters of the soul jazz organ. His very groovy version of Len Barry’s ‘1-2-3’ has a nice, swinging Latin vibe that I dig very much.
David Rockingham recorded one of my all time fave organ sides – ‘Soulful Chant’ – one of several tunes he recorded for the Josie label. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that he recorded sides for a few other labels, including the grinding ‘Little Davie’ for the Dee Dee imprint.
The great Odell Brown (and his Organizers) were the subject of an extended feature back at the old Funky16Corners web zine. Following his extended run with the group, he went on to record two albums under his own name, one for Cadet and one for Paula. His version of ‘Hard To Handle’ comes from the Cadet LP, a tribute to Otis Redding.
This edition of Funky16Corners Radio comes to a close with a track that has actually appeared here before – featured as a single track – Bobby Emmons’ ‘Blue Organ’. Emmons was a stalwart of the American Studios crew, playing keyboards on countless rock, soul and country sessions during the 60s and 70s. ‘Blue Organ’ is one of his more soulful efforts, and can be scooped up on either 45, or on the LP ‘Blues With a Beat With An Organ’ (great title, huh?).
That all said, I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back later in the week with something unusual. Stay tuned as well. The fourth anniversary of the Funky16Corners Blog is approaching rapidly, and it will coincide with the 60th Funky16Corners Radio Podcast. I have something very cool planned, so watch for that in a few weeks.
*I’m sure that somewhere in this mix, and definitely in a few earlier ones there have been more than a few organ sides that were created on some other make of organ, but since the vast majority are Hammond, I figured I’d go with that.