Three Hammond organ virtuosos walk into a bar….
….and blow the roof off the Brisbane Jazz Club!!
That was the scenario when the ‘Hammond Summit’ came to town.
Three Hammond organs on stage, each with its own idiosyncratic Leslie speaker; the oldest of which featured the exposed, rotating horns that define the Leslie brand and its uniquely tunable/adjustable sound.
The three players were Brisbane’s Dale Rabic, Melbourne’s Tim Neal and Sydney’s Clayton Doley. They were supported throughout the evening by Jim Kelly on guitar and Paul Hudson on drums. Entertaining cameos were provided by Mal Wood with his silver trumpet and smoky vocals, Shannon Marshall on flugelhorn and Matt Christensen on sax.
The run of sets for the night saw Dale first up. (Tim informed us that Dale is revered within the Hammond community as ‘The Professor’). Dale was followed by Tim, whose set included a self-penned, gospel-flavoured devotion to his wife; a hymn for her? And finally Clayton, who showed no signs of being fresh off a plane from Canada.
With each Hammond supported by Jim’s guitar and Paul’s drums, the three musicians brought to their instrument, their personal approach, touch, interpretation and sensitivity. Three Hammond organs; three unique and stirring performances.
The final set saw all three on stage together through a driving jam that pulsated, throbbed and whooshed its away around the club as powerfully as anything that a southern USA gospel church has ever experienced!!
During his set, Clayton, with tongue firmly in his cheek, explained the genesis of the idea for the Summit. He recalled a day when he and Tim had lunch in the city, after parking the car with a Hammond organ lying on the back seat. When they got back to the car, they found the back window had been smashed…and there were two more Hammonds in the back!! (A wag in the audience called out, ‘And a banjo?’)
Whatever the inspiration that made it happen, the Brisbane Jazz Club’s appreciative audience was very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this experience. Thanks to all of the talented musicians that made for another memorable night by the Brisbane River.
Arrangements are in place to retrieve the roof from somewhere in the CBD.