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Very Hot Stuff - Barbara Dennerlein on Hammond B3 Organ

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Published on May 14, 2006

Seeing is believing. It looks impossible, but it's true, Barbara Dennerlein plays bass lines with her left foot that I couldn't play with my left hand.

Unlike many organists, she did not begin with piano. When she was 11 years old she began playing organ, including the use of the foot pedals. She took lessons for a year and a half from a teacher who played jazz himself. By the time she was 13 she was completely on her own in regard to her musical development.

Charlie Parker was her musical hero and biggest influence. While she respects Jimmy Smith's musicianship and his enormous contribution to jazz organ, she did not model her playing, sound, technique or musical approach after his.

Like Jimmy, she developed her own personal style and unmistakable sound. Her artistic sensibilities are closer to Larry Young than Jimmy Smith, but they are still very much her own.

In the 80's Jimmy Smith briefly moved from Hammond B3 to another make of organ, experimented with synthesizers and even played electric piano. In the 80's Barbara also began to experiment, but she took a different approach.

She integrated midi technology into her B3 keyboard and sampled an upright bass to give her bass pedals a more realistic sound.

This video is one small glimpse into her musical world, I hope you'll view the other clips on my channel, and enjoy clips by other great B3 players. My hope is that music is enjoyed as a celebration, and not a competition - it's art not sport.

Barbara Dennerlein, Hammond B3 Organ. Dennis Chambers, Drums. (Not shown on clip: Andy Sheppard, Sax, Mitch Watkins, Guitar.) Vienna, 1992



Seeing is believing.

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