Adam tells his story
how he came to the organ:
Hello, I'm Adam Scone.
I was born in Cleveland, OH. Then transferred to a small town
outside of Youngstown Ohio. There were Amish people there.
They don't play organ. I remember trying to strangle hymnbooks
because the church organist was so bland and stiff. My grandma
had a little organ in the house. She still has it and I still like to turn on
all the drum machines at once and play as loud as possible.
Everyone always says turn it down, turn it down. After doing a
tour to Syria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates I like to
jam with those scales and really get into it. It's got this cool
pitch bend button on it so you can play in between the cracks and
none of the F#'s work. It's got about 3 octaves of keys. My Grandfather,
Shorty Sewall, was a country fiddle player so after I played in his bands when I
got good enough. It was fun. Sitting around listening to old time fiddle tunes
and playing that 3 octave organ.
Then later on in High School I was playing piano and organ both.
I began playing in Teddy Pantalis's band which featured the great drummer Shederick
Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs always stayed in Youngstown for the most part but came up in the
era of pick up bands. So he had played with the greats. I remember stories about
Charlie Parker and then of course the organists Jack Mcduff, Dr. Lonnie Smith amonst others.
He really pushed me for the organ. He always said he thought I had more of a
touch for the organ. I had still never played a B3.
Then Shederick called me up and told me to come down to the club because he
was playing with the great Gene Ludwig and that I needed to check him out.
Gene was amazing. I sat in awe of what was going on. Talked to Gene
and he let me sit in. From that first touch of that silky plastic key I was hooked.
It felt like butter and it was all smooth. I needed that. I needed to hold down notes
forever and I needed to throw the switch.
In the classafides that weekend I looked. A church was selling a B3 for 500 dollars.
I bugged my mom like crazy and we eventually went and checked it out and got it.
That organ was my favorite but I got rid of it last year because it was a constant problem
mechanically. I miss the squeaky keys though.
Meanwhile, my father lives in Southern Florida. I was talking to him one day
and he told me that the Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith plays at a niteclub 6 days
a week that is 3 blocks from his house. So I scheduled a trip down there to
see the master. He was phenomenal. I wrote down a bunch of things he told me that
Music sounds better groovin'
I've tried everything there was to try with the Organ
Nothing's like the feeling of the Leslie hitting your back.
Everyone can play technical so you've got to play with your heart.
And "I'm native American, but this is a Chinese beard, it's weird."
I just saw him last week. He continues to dominate the organ. He is truly phenomenal.
At 19, I moved to NYC. Soon after I began playing my own gigs.
At Showmans Café in Harlem. Going to see Great Organists
Bobby Forrester and Reuben Wilson. Bobby played wednesdays
at Showmans and Reuben played thursdays, so I was up
there all the time. I began playing with sidemen of Jack McDuff's band
and eventually met Jack Mcduff a bunch of times. I remember
a funny night hanging out with him in Ohio and he was drinking
Odoules non alcoholic beer and Absolute vodka straight.
I'd go see Dr. Smith with Lou Donaldson all the time. And eventually
Mr. Donaldson called me up to do gigs when Dr. Smith couldn't make it.
I got to play weeks at the Village Vanguard and Blue Note. Then we got
to go down to Jamaica.
I also made a few records with the great drummer Ben Dixon. I found him
because he was my favorite drummer on all those Big John Patton, Grant Green
So that's it basically. Organ has brought me all over the world,
all over North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East.
I'm not done yet either. I'm ready to JAM. I'm Ready to jam now!
Thanks the International Archives for the Jazz Organ for letting me tell my story!
Adam has also produced an audio file (12:47 min, 8,999 kB)
speaking about his way to the Hammond organ. Click on the
MP3 logo to listen to Adam !