Greg BoramanGreg (* 1968) was a serious and appreciative music fan from an early age but it was the purchase of a second hand picture sleeve of Jimmy McGriff's "I've Got A Woman" EP in 1984 the 16 year old Gregs' first explosive contact with the world of Hammond blues and jazz, quickly becoming totally immersed in organ jazz music - but purely as a listening fan, not as a player. After several years of obsessive jazz organ LP collecting and gig going, Greg one day happened across an original Hammond L100 spinet organ for sale in a local keyboard dealership - and although at the time Greg's keyboard skills extended no further than being able to pick out "Green Onions" with one finger on a friends old piano - Greg decided that perhaps he could convert his passion for swinging organ sounds into an ability to play one of these mystical instruments. The L100 was purchased and delivered to his home one day in the autumn of 1989... Greg plugged in the organ - and put on "The Cat" by Jimmy Smith on his turntable... and slowly, painfully began to pick out the hippest melody he had ever heard by ear ... unsure if this endeavour would lead to anything other than sore fingers and organ generator oil stains on his living room carpet.
Untrained and self taught with only previous musical experience was as a part-time drummer Greg understandably continued a long period of secretly wood-shedding at home on a recently purchased immaculate 1961 Hammond C-3 organ and 122 Leslie cabinet. At the same time - Greg began working for the Hammond-centric record label Acid Jazz Records in London - finally accepting the role of A & R manager which brought him into contact with The James Taylor Quartet, swinging 60's style groovers Corduroy - and funk rock Hammond thrashers Mother Earth (on whose LP "The People Tree" Greg played Mini Moog). It was in the mid 90's that Greg finally began recording and playing organ semi professionally after all those years of secret practise - his first nervous session recordings were for acid jazz/Mod outfit Skooby as well as some sessions being released on Acid Jazz Records artists own recordings. It was also on a label funded trip to California in 1994 that Greg got to strike up an ongoing friendship one of his favourite B3 artists Brian Auger, as well as visiting the home of Johnny "Hammond" Smith.
Apart from recording sessions and instances of sitting in at gigs and jam sessions Greg's first live act as a leader a hastily convened covers band that wowed the packed venue with a tough uncompromising versions of tunes from all of Greg's hardcore Hammond heroes, Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, Jimmy McGriff, Dieter Reith, Doug Carn and of course Brian Auger. The event was a resounding success - and for Greg confirmation that despite his lack of any formal musical training, he had something worthwhile and valid to say via on the Hammond's fantastic electric soul!
It was also around this time that Greg began hiring out his immaculate Hammond C-3 organ to visiting jazz organ superstars including Jimmy Smith, Brian Auger, Reuben Wilson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bobby Watley of Funk Inc, Adam Scone of The Sugarman 3 and Big John Patton amongst others. This provided Greg with great opportunities to meet and study close up the playing of his Hammond Heroes - picking up tips and tricks over the shoulders of the organ masters.
The late 90's saw Greg appear on digital TV channel BBC Choice's Cross The Tracks discussing the Hammond organs significance in pop music alongside Georgie Fame, James Taylor and The Style Councils' Mick Talbot. Shortly afterwards Greg was invited to join one of the UK's premier 'Deep Funk' outfits - The Soul Destroyers as well as playing gigs and recordings with renowned singer/songwriter Matt Deighton as well as playing Hammond on ground-breaking 'nu jazz/broken beats' recordings with DJ/producer Alex Attias - under the name Catalyst and The Bel Air Project.
By 2002 Greg was working for BBC Radio - and via a chance encounter with the producer of BBC 6 Music's "The Craig Charles Funk Show" led to Greg presenting the now infamous, twice weekly "Hammond Time!" feature on the show. This involved Greg introducing the shows audience to some of the greatest Hammond jazz, ska, funk, blues and reggae recordings ever made from his massive jazz organ record collection - as well as co-producing and presenting full length "star interviews" with Brian Auger and soul jazz legends Lou Donaldson and Dr. Lonnie Smith for the show. When the sad death of jazz organ innovator Jimmy Smith was announced Greg was invited onto the BBC World Service radio along with renowned UK jazz organ maestro Mike Carr to discuss Smith's influential music and career. Greg was also engaged to write music reviews for the BBC Music website including several reviews of new and re-issued Hammond recordings:
In January 2005 Greg presented a 10 minute tribute to the Hammond Organ on UK national television as BBC2's "The Culture Show" celebrated the Hammond organs' 70th birthday. Greg interviewed Keith Emerson and Steve Winwood for the feature as well as unearthing fantastic original early 60's footage of Jimmy Smith appearing on BBC's 'Jazz 625' programme.
Greg is currently at the helm of another successful Hammond funk outfit "Reverend Cleatus & The Soul Saviours". 2006 has seen Greg playing organ for reformed 60's psych-rockers Mighty Baby and recording and playing live as part funk/hip hop project Dr Rubberfunk. His own band performed live gigs in London, Italy, Spain and particulaly the "all Hammond" Saint Pierre Soul Jazz Festival in France where they appeared alongside the James Taylor Quartet, Stoned Soul Picnic.
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