Rare Sound Clips from Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes

About the clips

Both 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.

The 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 artist's pages.

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.

Much 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.

  Go hear some Jack McDuff

  On second thought, let's listen to Groove Holmes