What is it about the Hammond organ that appeals to me so much, whether it’s in rock or soul or jazz-fusion?  Maybe it’s the toughness of it, that crunchy sound that comes from it.

I was watching and listening to Tower of Power play late Sunday night at the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival, and I was rocked like a baby in a cradle as I watched and listened to Roger Smith play the Hammond, and the swirling sound he was getting out of it.

Brian Auger

When it comes to fusion, I remember a very early morning back in late December when I was going through an automatically generated rotation on Pandora.com, and Brian Auger‘s “Brain Damage” came on.  It slayed me, and I had to do a quick blog post just on that one song.

Brian Auger’s one of those Hammond players who can really stand head and shoulders above the rest.  He plays it crunchy, he plays it swirly, he plays it jazzy, and he just rocks.  He even looks tough, which may help to give it a “tough sound.”

Isn’t that what fusion’s all about?


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