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Tubes and Fans

Get up for the downstroke, people, the world gets two Chunk performances, two days in a row. Last night in Illinois, and tonight with Stuart Sims at California State University Stanislaus.

Stuart’s performance, on a program titled “The Art of Cool” (a debatable theme to say the least considering that my square butt is included) is notable not only because 2 Mackeys are also programmed (and it’s been quite a while since we’ve shared a program. Discussions continue as to when exactly the last time was…likely at Juilliard), but also because this might be Chunk‘s first performance with an actual Hammond organ, complete with Leslie speakers. The keyboard part includes my feeble instructions on finding an appropriate patch—something as close to a Hammond B3 as possible, that unmistakable wobbly jazz organ sound with its biting attack, and with as much of the whoop-whoop of the Leslie vibrato as possible .. and I’ve heard ensembles attempt to replicate that with everything from a Clavinova to an Alesis keyboard. But Stuart has gone one step further and actually rented a Hammond (I believe, not a B3, but a slightly later model) and the fan-driven Leslie’s. “The Art of Cool” in this case, does not describe the music, but the conductor who cares enough to rent the very best…

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