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Letter from the Editor

No other instrument has the same effect on the soul. From Sunday morning church to the Friday night clubs and some of your favorite recordings, the organ has tied itself both emotionally and musically with varying genres and styles, and as such has become one of the most unmistakeable sonic elements within music.

Organs are composed of two 61-key layers referred to as the swell (top) and the great (bottom). Consequently, organ players are truly a different breed of musician frequently exploring the funkdom of the low end as well as laying down chord changes and layers on top all at the same time. “Pulling out all the stops” isn’t just an expression; organists alter their drawbars or “stops” to hand craft the perfect sound for each occasion, literally pulling out all the stops to make a statement. In this issue we seek to explore these intricacies as well as the evolution of the Hammond B-3 Organ in jazz. We will leave no stone unturned as we explore every twist and turn in the history from Fats Waller recording the first pipe organ in jazz to Jimmy Smith defining the B-3 organ sound, and all the way to today’s integration of both analog and synth organ textures within popular music.

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