BIGROUP - BIG HAMMER


a good one to start off the Hammond section and which has recieved cult status among beat diggers and Progressive Rock collectors is this Library recording by Johnny Scott from the vault's of the british Peer International label. also released in Spain on the Olympo label with a different cover, the Bigroup indeed are setting the 'Beat Norm' (as one of the titles suggests) filling the gap between late 60s Beat and 70s Progressive Rock: the winning ingredients include heavy acid fuzz guitar, delerius hammond riffs, wah-wah, lots of funky flutes, all embedded in ultra-beaty rhythm patterns that range from the downtempo funkiness of 'Heavy Lift' to faster grooves like the title track and 'Bombilation'. (Peer 1971)

 

 

TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC - MAJKO ZEMLJO


Introduced to the worldwide Rare Groove community by Zeljko Kerlata from Cosmic Sounds, the two albums by ex Time-member Tihomir Pop Asanovic are very rewarding cratedigger finds and rarely seen even in its origin land, former Yugoslavia. Asanovic's workouts on organ and rhodes are pure funky jamming as the whole 'Majko Zemljo' album is nothing but tight Jazz Funk Groove from start to finish with loads of mad Fusion Funk breaks on tracks like 'Balada O Liscu', 'Tema Za Pop', 'Rokenrol Dizajner' and 'Berlin II'. the outstanding title track is a wicked Progressive Funk Rock number with pulsating rhythm beat built by a killer bassline, fast congas, heavy rock vocals and dramatic brass riffs. 'Berlin I' turns out to be a mighty funked up version of the JB's 'Hot Pants Road', probably the track, why beatdiggers are after that album. not sursprisingly, Asanovic continues with his distinctive, funky Organ play on his selftitled 2nd LP from 1976, which as well has several highlights to offer: the opener 'Mali Crni Brat' has a laidback jazzy beat and groovy female vocals. 'Usamljena Devojka' is a catchy midtempo Club Jazz Funker with superb play on the rhodes. 'Expres Novi Sad' has the band cuttin' loose on faster jazz beats with a frantic bass, horny horns & wild drums. (Jugoton 1974 & 1975)

 

 

CASEY & THE PRESSURE GROUP - POWERHOUSE


dutch organist Cees Schrama formed in 1969 together with guitarist Joop Scholten and a number of studio musicians the Funky Eight (later the Pressure Group). 'Powerhouse' captivates besides a superb cover style with serious Hammund Funk instros: On 'Wailing Arab' and 'This Is The Beginning' Casey's almost hypnotic organ play is backed by a driving midtempo rhythm beat. the title track and 'Dynamite' have equal funky quality, but are played in a bit more lightning easy style. besides that, you even get a mighty cover of Lee Michael's 'Heighty-Hi'. (Philips Holland 1970)

 

 

HOWARD WALES - RENDEZVOUS WITH THE SUN


after honing his chops during the mid 60's backing acts ranging from Ronnie Hawkins to the Four Tops to James Brown, Howard Wales eventually settled down in San Francisco, joining the group A.B. Skhy. he is wellknown for his weekly jam sessions at the Bay Area Club The Matrix together with Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia and worked with guitarist Harvey Mandel among others. this spaced out electronic Hammond masterpiece was released in 1976 on a private label as his first solo effort and the psychedelic touch is evident on all tracks. the title tracks is a trippy beat-ladden club bomb with synthisized organ play, wellknown from one of the 'Mood Mosaic' compilations, more cosmic electro Funk in the same vein can be found on 'Golden Flyer', 'Solar Eclipse', 'Late Cruiser', 'Side Street' & 'Karnaval'. some time ago a guy from the states found a package of 25 still sealed copies, so watch out on ebay to check a mint copy of this killer pice of vinyl for yourself. (Costal 1976)

 

 

NINO FERRER - METRONOMIE


Recorded 1971 with assistance of musicians like Pierre Dutour and Bernard Estardy (both enigmatic personalities in french Pop/Library business) 'Metronomie' is a great French concept album and by far Nino Ferrer's deepest excursion into progressive music. the result of a legendary studio session is music full of hammond madness, wicked funky jazz, percussive breaks, electronic FX, mellotron, vocal countdowns and various changes in tempi and mood. the arrangements range from the furious organ-led jazz break intro of 'Cannabis' (another funky drug exploitation tune we come across) to the avantgardistic approach of 'Freak Out' & the endless title track, and get rocky on the erotic R&B shouter 'Isabelle'. so many shades of good music going on here it justifies being called a milestone in history of french pop music just like 'Melody Nelson'. (Barclay 1971)

 

 

FRED VAN ZEGVELD - HAMMOND ORGAN DYNAMITE


along with Casey's 'Powerhouse' and Rob Franken's 'Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da' this is the 3rd album in the dutch series of highly collectable Hammond Rare Groove. as often the artist himself does not consider the album to be of much interest: one day a studio was booked, but the performing artist did not turn up. Fortunetly, Fred Van Zegveld and his band were at the right time at the right place and jammed in this lost hour of studio time with 'Dynamite' as the result. the psychedelic sleeve cover alone suggests some killer beats and you will not be dissapointed: the title track is a mighty piece of pure 60s cinematic Hammond Funk and can best be illustrated if you imagine Jimmy Smith playing 'They Call Me Mr. Tibbs'. the 2nd dancefloor winner -in speed and feel equal frantic as 'Dynamite'- is a totally distorted 6 min cover version of the Beatles' 'I Wanna Be Your Man'. Essential stuff! (Park 1969)