the Leslie heroe
picture taken in the workshop of Bryan Davenport, the English-German Hammond doctor
Hello jazz fans and/or organ friends,
it was in the 70's that I started to collect jazz organ music: It was the result of my deep interest in the organ
combined with my love for jazz. As a student I had lessons in church organ playing, but soon detected that a pipe
organ can produce wonderful jazz - if you play it the "right" way. That was the point to listen to Fats Waller and his
excellent playing of church and Wurlitzer organs. But I followed him to what was later his favorite instrument:
I began to listen to all these guys who detected the Hammond as to be their main instrument, above all - of course - Jimmy Smith who lit my jazz organ fire in such a way that till today I have still not lost my love for both the JAZZ and the ORGAN.
As I mentioned I collected these hot discs of Jimmy The Big, "Brother" Jack, Shirley The Gentle Lady, Larry etc. And the more I got of these LPs the more I found missing in my collection. Today I keep a list of LPs and CDs which I am steadily looking for. As time went by my collection grew to appr. 100,000+ titles of organ jazz music (meanwhile digital copies take a big part of it). I have however to point out that not only star musicians can be found but also those side men who do a rather good job on the organ and sometimes can be heard as one of many only. Also typical piano players who only occasionally play the organ found entrance into my collection.
And what about the organ itself: Most of the music is made on the legendary HAMMOND, but of course other keyboard instruments as "electric organ" or "Wurlitzer organ" are considered. A special place is given to the pipe or church organ: A relatively small range of players, especially in Belgium, Germany, Norway and Sweden, have shown that excellent jazz can be made on such instruments - mostly a totally different kind of jazz compared with the funky, impulsive way of "Hammond jazz", more contemplative and sensitive, a kind of its own, worth listening to.
As a base for such a comprehensive collection I decided to found The International Archives For The Jazz Organ. Their aims are defined as follows:
Laurens Hammond at an A model
Due to copyright restrictions I am not allowed to make any copies of the musical material of my archives, even if the records are out of print. I am very sorry about that, as I can imagine that some of the very rare records could be of huge interest for some organ jazz fans.
On the other hand everybody is kindly asked to help to complete the archives in supplying informations. Please use e-mail to leave your note, I would be greatful for any hints or even your expression of interest.
view at the IAJO archives