Monday of this week was March 8th, the International Women’s day. And so I thought it might be nice to honor some of the female jazz organists the I have listened to over the years, like Shirley Scott, Rhoda Scott, Trudy Pitts and the Swedish queen of the Hammond Merit Hemmingsson. Also recognizing the birthday of Wes Montgomery and the 7th anniversary of Trinity’s release “Three”.
Although, I went into the stream in a bluesy mode. Earlier in the day we had been rehearsing with Arnesen Bluesband for a recording the following day so my head was full of blues. It’s been a while since we did a live concert, but we often would open with “Funky Mama” as a way to present the band so I thought that would be a nice way to start the stream.
Playing organ jazz, you often come across the music of Wes Montgomery. I love most of his work and especially his collaborations with Jimmy Smith. One of the songs that they recorded was “OGD”, or “Road song” and I’ve played it many times over the years. I think it was the first time I played it without guitar which was a little weird, but I love playing the song and it was nice to honor Wes Montgomery.
Of the organists I mentioned above, I think (except for Merit Hemmingsson) Shirley Scott was the first one I got to one I got to know. I bought her album “Common Touch” that she recorded with Stanley Turrentine and the song Boogaloo instantly became a favorite. So I decided to play that today. I also chose to play “That’s all” in her honor.
The big challenge this week was the Rhoda Scott thing. I’ve watched a lot of videos of her from the seventies where she plays duo with a drummer. One really cool thing I think is when she pairs a Bach prelude with a jazz standard. Been thinking about trying that for a while I and I finally got the motivation to do it. I’m not classically trained,so the prelude was a big challenge but a lot of fun!
Then there were an anniversary for my group Trinity. 7 years ago we released or third album “THREE” so I thought I’d play something from that as well. Lasy River is one of the first jazz songs I listened to and this was the first time I recorded it. Later it became sort of a “hit song” when we were out playing it.
And then for something completely different. The first time I saw the movire “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas”, the main takeaway was the great soundtrack throughout the movie. One songs that I heard for the first time was Brewer & Shipley’s “One toke over the line” and this exact date was the 50th anniversary of when they hit the no1 on Billboard. A good reason to play it!
When speaking of female organ players, in Sweden the always one name that is mentioned first – Merit Hemmingsson, the Swedish queen of the Hammond. She has done a lot of great recordiungs over the years and I have listened to her a lot. In the seventies she did Swedish folk music in pop arrangements and that remains her greatest success I think. The song “Jämtländsk Brudmarsch” (Wedding march from Jämtland) is one of my favorites.
And then a little part number sign Trudy Pitts. She recorded “Spanish Flea” with Pat Martino and I just love that recording. A song that always cheers me up!
Finally, my cohost Tobi suggested I’d play my song B3 Boogie as an encore and it seemed a nice way to end the show.