The Hammond Organ: Beauty In The B
Along with his above-mentioned comic relief, Amels also contributes "25 Hammond Licks You Must Know," only one portion of the book's fully notated master classes presented by such acknowledged savants as Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Eppley, Larry Goldings and Tony Zamagni; John Medeski, Rose Mary Bailey, Coster, Shaffer and Argent give additional performance tips. A very nifty supplement to the "Licks" and "Classes" is the option of going to the publisher's Web site at www.backbeatbooks.com/b3 to download standard MIDI files and/or audio files to accompany them.
Vail does more than just give tips from technical experts on how to buy, restore, and maintain Hammonds and Leslies. All Hammonds were not created equal, we learn. Starting around 1968, the profit-monger side of the Hammond Company began to dominate the craftsman side (Hammond himself had vacated his position as president in 1955 and retired completely from the firm in 1960). Cheaper materials, including the cabinetry wood, were used, and assemblers on the production line were given fixed times to complete their tasks. As a result, there are certain vintages to be avoided, and Vail lists the "good" and "junky" serial numbers. He gives space to some of the most highly regarded professional restoration technicians in which to elaborate their respective philosophiestube pre-amps versus solid-state, stock versus "super-stock," "chopping" and "hot-rodding," and so on.
In addition to an appendix of print and video resources, and an updated discography featuring authoritative recommendations for must-hear recordings by some of the greats of the Hammond organ, Vail closes with a comprehensive index, a very practical bit of back material all-too-often neglected in books of this sort.