The Hammond B3 Appreciation Thread

This is the thread where y’all can share your favorite B3 songs, so have at it!

Here’s mine and dontcha’ll start hunchin’ yer ol’ ladies when you hear it, either! :wink:


So many great tracks to mention, but I will just offer a link to this CD- a collection of great organ work and a sexy cover to boot…

The rockin’ Jimmy McGriff on one of my favorite tunes.

To me, though others rock it, the Hammond B3 sound really belongs to the late great Jimmy Smith.

I got a chance to see Jimmy and his ‘heir apparent’ Joey DiFrancesco in a small club using duelling B3s, and it was truly something to see and behold.

One of the most amazing things about Jimmy Smith is that most of his lead lines were done with one hand, and he (even at his advanced age when I saw him play) would use his other hand for drinking and smoking.

Of course JOS is the foundation. But lately (for the past year) I’ve been spinning Jimmy McGriff’s albums and learning his lines from the 1970s/late 1960s (even earlier from “I Got A Woman” – that one took me a while to transcribe and fake his little LH thing and get all those stone classic riffs from the beginning down to a place I thought was good enough).

A year ago, I spent a shitload of time writing out Don Patterson’s stuff, especially his ballads – that cat is all about the diminished scales, and that’s how I learned them. “Stairway to the Stars,” “Embraceable You” – those patented Don ballads. Hard as hell to write down, but it lays good under the hands once you practice it a bit.

Dr. Lonnie Smith I learned a hell of a lot from – I wrote contrafacts of a bunch of his tunes, like that pretty ballad “Blue Moment” (IIRC) off “Jungle Soul” and stuff like … “One Cylinder” (not his tune, it’s Freddy McCoy, but he’s all over that one).

Joey D. has been major – the last time I saw him live, he wasn’t just copying JOS, but sounded like he had some Wayne Shorter-type compositions going, and was really getting out there. I like his tribute album to Don especially and some others, but he’s never going to disappoint. Hope he gets his weight under control, cause it would suck balls if he didn’t live a good long life with all his music.

Oh, plug for the youngster Jim Alfredson – those Organissimo albums are good, and I transcribed my share of those tunes and wrote some contrafacts. “Jimmy Smith Goes to Washington” is a simple but awesome tune, the way he plays it, and I play that one too on occasion.

McGriff’s few albums with Groove Holmes rule as well – I’m not ashamed I learned a bunch of licks off them as well. All the albums from the 1960s from McGriff – that’s how I learned a bunch of standards as well, just copying how he did them, without sheet music or anything, just determination cause they sounded so badass.

Joey D. has some great stuff like his cover of “When Johnny Come Marching Home” (one of JOS’s best grooves IMHO) – no fucking way can I figure out how gets that speed going on the little diminished 7 chords descending on the intro. Way beyond a mere mortal.

Lonnie Smith’s a great guy for hearing the difference between "regular: JOS-style LH bass with tapping and hitting hard on the pedals.

This one’s got sentimental value. It was the first time I ever tried to play jazz drums in my band, The Watchmen:


Opened this just to post “Stormy Monday”, same as the OP. But by Lee Michaels.

e n j o y ~ ~ ~

And this is what he and “Frosty the Drummer” were like live.

Fuck me!

I thought Lee Michael’s hit was “Do You Know What I Mean?”

Fuck me and why can I call myself a musician without knowing of this man’s talent?

Just shoot me, okay?



Hey, man – “Stormy Monday” was the stone classic as I learned about Michaels and Frosty. Probably not his biggest hit, but certainly revered as a cover tune.

That was his hit. It no more reflects his talent than “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” reflects Bobby Ferrin’s.

However, IIRC it reflects that entire album, or the amount I sat through 40 years ago. I had no idea he could play anything except that single riff.

I hate the Hammond B3.

Not the sound of them, which is fine. Their weight. They are apparently constructed of wood-veneered lead. Anyone who has had to load one of these bastards into a truck knows what I mean.

Hey, man – with some dollies, they’re not that bad. Besides, the new Hammond-Suzuki portable models are just fine sounding and a shitload lighter – and if you get the modular system with the pedals and bench and stand, they’re pretty much the same thing sonically as that 400 lb monstrosity (can’t believe I said that – I no longer own a real Hammond and never will again FWIW). Don’t tell any Hammond I said that – there’s a good girl! Where’s froggy! Does froggy love daddy? Daddy loves froggy!

It’s the Leslie’s I hate carrying – always worried if they’re not upright, they’ll leak all over the place, plus, they’re plenty heavy too and need their own dolly.

Don’t be hating, man!

That said, I’ll never give up my Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos – they’re just too damned much fun, and everyone seems to enjoy them from the audience. And I like the connection between the action and the sound – whereas ergonomically correct newer Hammond portable models are fine with me. Only Rhodes I thought was OK was the Scarbee samples, but I’m done playing with a laptop live since a long time ago. I guess the Leslie is the same way, but it gets to be a real PITA to carry them, even a shortboy model. If I had the scratch, I’d grab a newer model with a sub “woofer” but I don’t have the cheddar to drop a few grand on a new Leslie when I can use a Ventilator for 500 bucks (I don’t use one now, but saving up).

As long as percussion and VC are in the right places and I can fit a half-moon Leslie switch, and all the drawbars are where they’re supposed to be – preferably with reverse-key presets – it’s pretty much fine with me, as long as it sounds good. Don’t even play much Hammond live these days – just the way I feel about it.

One of my favorites - the trio Niacin

John Novello - Hammond B3
Billy Sheehan - Bass
Dennis Chambers - Drums

Here’s the first track of their album Time Crunch - Elbow Grease

and, from the same album, their cover of the King Crimson song “Red”

Good old vitamin B3. I like those cats too – good call!

OMG, yes!!!:D;)

In my day, we had to set up the afternoon of the gig and take down at about 1 am the next morning. Try doing that drunk sometime, y’all! :wink:

All that shit for 5 hours (minus breaks) of fame!

“…wood-veneered lead”! I love it, gaffa!



Drunk??? What is this shit, Quasi[!!! That’s the only reason I stay straight until I’m all loaded up after a job – too hard to move a bunch of shit when you’re even a little tipsy. Probably dangerous, too. Sure, I’ll tip some after a job if there are some friends around who want to party, or, hell, if I’m just playing on someone else’s (usually crummy) gear, but not when hauling.

You’re getting paid for opinions, of for hauling, mister [/Everett Sloane]