Here at B3 Player, we work hard to listen to our readers and we have gotten a lot of great
feedback. One of the most consistent requests is for interviews. You readers want to meet
the great players, hear about their music and gear. You will find five interviews in this issue.
Spring is a great time of the year and Musik Messe 2006 took advantage by producing
another exciting show. The big new news is the introduction of the Nord Stage Compact by
Clavia which uses the waterfall keyboard of the Nord Electro. Most of the news deals with
what excites gear hounds – SHIPPING! So here’s the scoop…
Most jazz standards and blues make heavy use of the harmonic progression called II/V7
(pronounced, “2, 5”) or II/V7/I (pronounced, “2, 5, 1”). So, in any serious study of jazz
organ you will spend lots of time learning how to comp, play basslines, and to solo over the
II/V7/I harmonic progression.
Tony Monaco uses a technique where there are a few very quick chord stabs that feel like
he is climbing a chord ladder at the speed of light then gently lands on the target chord. I
have always wondered how players got this sound and whether they were playing actual
chords or just “crushing” a set of convenient notes to get this effect.
Tired of playing the same basslines over and over? Scott Hawthorn will teach you some new two-measure bassline modules, and a way to put them together to achieve lines that are interesting,
change direction, can be put-together while you play, and give a feeling of spontaneity.
Tony has given us two excellent examples from which to learn. First, he gives us two verses of blues in F. The first verse is fairly straight forward, but the second verse is filled with reharmonizations that make it sound just great. The second example is an intermediate level solo (so the rest of us can
give it a try) that captures some of the characteristics of Tony’s style.
To start off our new section call “Rock Corner” we go all the way back to 1976 and the
album Amigos by Santana. This album takes a different path. There is a very strong
influence from Tom Coster (keyboard / B3 player) who co-wrote almost all the songs on
Amigos. We are going to focus on arguably the best song on the album, “Europa”.
In 2004 Tony Monaco set about building a studio that would cater to jazz organ and
keyboard artists. He named his studio Columbus Sound and located it on a four acre
wooded area just north of Columbus in Galena, Ohio. We speak with Linda Dachtyl about her experience recording her first CD at Columbus Sound.
This issue we are starting a new Column called “Tech
Corner”. In this column we will interview organ technicians
about many topics related to the upkeep and refurbishing
of vintage organs. In this first installment of this column
we interview master technician Lonnie Smith.
Groove Tubes has come out with a new SFX 100 stereo keyboard amplifier that uses only
one lightweight cabinet. The new amp uses a patented SFX circuitry that takes the left and
right stereo input signals (from your keyboard) and maps them to front and side signals in
such a manner to generate a 300 degree stereo field. The front and side channels are
powered by 100 watts per channel. So, the question is can we get the Holy Grail – a
powerful, great sounding stereo keyboard amp – out of a single lightweight cabinet?