We are continuing to have some great Jazz masterclasses at PSU. So far this year, we have had saxophonist Hailey Niswanger, drummer Scott Cutshall, and saxophonist Joe Manis. Originally from Eugene, a graduate of the University of Oregon and New England Conservatory, Joe Manis plays the tenor saxophone in a no holds barred, unapologetic manner. We recorded his sophomore CD, "North By Northwest" two summers ago, and it's been getting some great attention. Manis' clinic was equal parts performance; he's been using organ trio quite a bit, so he decided to hire me on organ and drumming wizard Todd Strait. We've worked this configuration a bunch during 2013, and it's always been a ton of fun. In between songs, Manis and Strait answered questions and talked about why they got into the music. I'm hoping we can have more informative presentations like this in the weeks and months to come.
I was happy to get the chance to play great music with great musicians, but I was really happy about
getting another chance to try my brand spanking new Hammond SK1. This is a keyboard which the industry refers to as a "clonewheel," or an "organ clone". It's not exactly brand new, but it's new to me( it was half the normal street price at Guitar Center, so I couldn't pass it up!)I've used various keyboards which try to emulate the wonder of the Hammond B3, and I've met with various levels of satisfaction. However, the SK1 has a number of great things going for it. One, it's only 15 pounds! Secondly, it has REAL drawbars, which give it the real feel of the B3. The action is also remarkable B3-like. Furthermore, the sound of the "percussion" is really authentic to me. In terms of sound, I question whether the layman would notice the difference, but if you have ever played an actual B3 and then played an organ "patch" on a keyboard, you know that there is a huge difference. For the moment, I'm very satisfied with my SK1. To be totally honest, I was thinking about phasing out the organ stuff from my duties; this keyboard is actually making me think about finding MORE opportunities to play organ gigs!
I leave you with some footage from our clinic, and you can judge the music and my keyboard for yourself!