Rare Sound Clips from Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes
About the clips
of these masters were at the height of their powers in 1982, when they
happened to tour to Seattle to play at a plush little night club called
Parnell's. In those
days, gigs were commonly one, or even two, weeks long. This was the
case for a very lucky Organfreak who happened to work at this club as
sound man, light man, and door man.
By befriending them and gaining their confidence, he was allowed
to record the proceedings by means of a cheap Tascam cassette deck
plugged into the very minimal PA system.
only mics on stage in the case of Groove Holmes were two announce mics,
one for him and one for the, you guessed it, announcer. Thus, the
guitar on these clips is faint. The suggested activity for organ fans
during these quiet guitar solos is to listen to Groove's superb backup
and bass playing. For the McDuff tapes, the sax and guitar were miced,
as well as the Leslie's woofer. More on the equipment on the individual
The tapes are presented as MP3s in order, as
recorded, in their entirety, for the first time ever. This includes
multiple versions of the same tune (and the differences are well worth
listening to), a few dropouts, and tunes that simply end when the tape
ran out. Sometimes these are resumed on the next side of the tape,
sometimes not. The recordist was busy elsewhere doing his job,
and just hoping for the best on these recordings. He also spent a good
part of these gigs trying to pick up his jaw off the floor.
of this material is better, that is, more exciting, than anything
either of these men recorded formally, in my opinion, with the possible
exception of some of McDuff's earlier recordings. It is
rough-and-ready, funky, and you'll hear some occasional mistakes or
missteps. It's all part of it. The body of the material is, on the
whole, a treasure trove of jazz organ.
Take all the time you
need to listen to it. Put it on your iPod or whatever. What I, as owner
of the mechanical rights, ask you NOT to do is to sell these clips or
to otherwise benefit yourself in any way by any use of them. You may
not put them on your site, but you can certainly link to mine. You will
now have to do what most web surfers will not: scroll down.