This Month


Gerard Gibbs
After a brief summer break, we are now back with a new issue of This Month. I am very happy to present our late-summer Organist of the Month: Gerard Gibbs. Gerard, of Detroit MI in the USA, has studied with the late, great Richard Groove Holmes. Not only a top-notch organist, he also plays piano in various jazz-settings.

Previous issues of This Month

Feb 2007  - Introduction
Mar 2007  - Out and about
Apr 2007  - Tony Monaco
May 2007  - Wil Blades
June 2007 - Vanessa Rodrigues



1. Name:
Gerard William Gibbs

2. Place(s) I call home:
Detroit, MI aka “The Motor City”

3. Style(s) I play:
Jazz, R&B, Funk

4. Current CD/project:
Gerard Gibbs & ReORGAN’YZ, Livin’ and Learnin’

5. A person who inspired me to play the Hammond:
Richard “Groove“ Holmes


6. Do you use a Leslie speaker?
There’s no better compliment to the Hammond B-3!!

Can you share how you use it?
I mostly use a pair of Leslie 122’s. When I’m feeling REALLY good, I’ll drag out my pair of Leslie 31’s or my “Twin Towers of Power” as I call them

(-Editor's note: The Captain is very pleased to hear about the tallboys)

7. Do you often play the bass line on the organ?
Without a doubt!!

If yes, how do you do it?
I mainly play single lines with my left hand and compliment it with accents on the bass pedals with my left foot.

8. Do you use the percussion effects in your organ?
Oh yeah, gotta do that!!

If yes, what is your most used percussion setting?
 I mainly use the popular Jimmy Smith setting: The first three fundamental drawbars pulled all the way out with the “Third” percussion setting and the percussion volume on “Soft”.

9. Do you have a drawbar setting that is your own?
Not really. I love “Groove” Holmes’ setting: The first three fundamentals pulled out along with the last drawbar pulled out. Then the percussion setting is turned off. No secret there.

10. Is there anything that defines 'your sound'?
I believe regardless of the setting, each organist has their “own sound”. All organist’s approach is different, their feel is different and that’s what makes this instrument so dynamic.



11. A milestone in my Hammond organ playing career was:
Being on the same bill with Jimmy Smith in Leverkusen, Germany about two months before he passed away. I was on tour with The James Carter Organ Trio and being on the same stage with Jimmy was an awesome milestone.

12. A great recording of Hammond music not of my own:
“Living Soul” , “Soul Message” and “The Groover” by Richard “Groove” Holmes, “Groovin’ at Smalls” and “It’s Necessary” by Jimmy Smith, “City Lights” by Jimmy McGriff, “Silken Soul” and “Screamin’” by Jack McDuff

13. Do you compose music using the organ?
I certainly do. All of my organ originals are composed behind “The Wood”.

14. Can you describe your relationship with the saxophone(s) in your band?
I believe the relationship between organ and saxophone is so important. For me, being involved with The James Carter Organ Trio has taught me so much about how to accompany a lead instrument without another multi-note instrument like a guitar or piano. It has also improved my listening. I think studying Larry Young’s early recordings was a great help to me too.

15. What is your website address?


Amp rebuild services by Captain Foldback

The Captain now offers Hammond/Leslie amp rebuild/repair services at very reasonable prices. For most projects I do not charge for labour, I do it to help and out of love for the Hammond/Leslie sound. My speciality is old Leslie amps such as 31H and 32H. I rebuild in various 'grades' depending on how original the owner wants it to look and sound. Conversions from one model to another are also possible, as well as voltage conversion of later models. Solid state Leslie projects are welcome.

Please contact me by filling out the contact form, if you wish to discuss a project. References are available.

No, I want that organ!
The Swedish music software house, Propellerhead Software, has created an interesting concept. In a nutshell, you can buy a package of sampled sounds from the famous keyboard collection at the even more famous Abbey Road Studios in London. Among these instruments is the Hammond RT-3 mostly known from the photographs taken of The Beatles as they were preparing for the recording of Sgt. Pepper in 1967. With the organ is a Leslie model 122RV and the reverb is controlled by the third half moon switch on the organ. I can't tell if the Leslie has the optional brake function or not. On the Propellerhead website, there is a link to Youtube with a short promotional film featuring Mark Vail (author of Beauty In The B). Unfortunately, Mark Vail is not the authority on Hammond organs that they claim: He mentions that the RT-3 has 96 tonewheels.....

Nevertheless it's an interesting concept - now you can add a celeste track to your own recording that will give it an authentic Beatles-esque touch. You can look at the product 'Abbey Road Keys' here:
Propellerhead logo used with kind permission.

Website updates

  • The Tallboy Section's first page is back online, and page 2 is in the works. Your original pictures of tallboy Leslies are welcome!
  • I have secured an original Leslie 31H service manual and posted a scan on the Leslie manuals page. This manual covers the first version of the 31H series below serial no. 5200 with the 'type 2' tremolo control
  • The schematic for Leslie model 540 and 515 has been posted on the Leslie schematics page. The 540 (and the 515 - the only difference is the finish) is a two channel stationary add-on speaker for model 705 and 720 when used with 3 or 4 channel organs
  • The Leslie 860 owner's manual has been posted
  • The Leslie 257/258 schematics and manual have been posted
R.I.P. Doug Riley


Doug Riley's 'Yardbird Suite' - click to listen