This Month

January 2008

Jan Korinek
A new year, a new continent - for the first issue of 2008, we go to the old world. Jan Korinek is a prominent feature of the Czech jazz scene and has graciously agreed to be organist of the month.


1. Name
Jan Korinek

2. Place(s) I call home
Our house in Prague, Czech Republic, Jazzclub U Maleho Glena and 12-bar blues changes in F

3. Style(s) I play
Blues, Bluesy-Jazz, Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Pop (when needed)

4. Current CD/project
Groovin' For Little V. (just released in Jan 2008 by HardBop Records, UK)

5. A person who inspired me to play the Hammond
I started learning piano at the age of 5  with my father who gave me everything I needed to get started. I remember that I always liked swing and blues songs better than anything else (there wasn't much to choose from here in the communist Czechoslovakia - I remember we had one Ray Charles LP and The Beatles). Rock was pretty much accessible but I was never touched by it. Later I remember listening to records that had some cool keyboard sound on it, but for many years I didn't know what that was - later I found out, it was the Hammond Organ. These records were by BB King, Albert King, Earl Hooker with Big Moose Walker (org), Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson (with Art Hillery on Hammond), Ella Fitzgerald (These Are The Blues - Wild Bill Davis). Then I discovered Jimmy McGriff and he became my very favorite organ player along with Shirley Scott, Groove Holmes, Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith and others.


 6. Do you use a Leslie speaker?
Depending on size of the venue and style of music, I use either Leslie 760 or clones from Solton and Motion Sound going through a VH-RELIEF two tube preamp which makes the sound essential for me. I never use simulated leslie, only by accident.

7. Do you often play the bass line on the organ?
I play the bass line in my band GROOVE, with my left hand because mostly I have to play clones without pedals due to size of the venue.

8. Do you use the percussion effects in your organ?
 I do use 3rd percussion, only on first three or four drawbars. Never with a fast leslie on.

9. Do you have a drawbar setting that is your own?
I use a lot of the classic settings, from Jimmy Smith to Wild Bill Davis.

10. Is there anything that defines 'your sound'?
I like to be variable in use of sounds, my sound is more defined by my way of playing more than an actual sound. I love the Blues, so most of my "sound" comes from that.

Photograph used with kind permission


11. A milestone in my Hammond organ playing career was:
When I first played through a Leslie in 1997. Then when I bought my first console in 2006.

12. A great recording of Hammond music not of my own:
OK, here are three of my favourite albums  - Jimmy McGriff - Electric Funk, Shirley Scott - Queen Of The Organ and Jimmy McGriff - Funkiest Little Band In The Land

13. Do you compose music using the organ?
Yes since I don't have a piano now.

14. Besides jazz, what other types of Hammond organ music do you encounter in the Czech Republic?

The point is that there is not even very big Hammond Organ jazz scene here, except for one other organist-led band aside from me and my band. There is a lot of Hammond sound in funk, blues and pop of course - however none of the bands here are exclusively based on Hammond organ. They use the organ only as a background instrument together with other keys. Also, I know only a few people that own an actual tonewheel Hammond - in fact I know about two.

 15. What is your website address?


There is more about Jan's new CD further down the page.

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
Jul/Aug 2007 - Gerard Gibbs
Sep/Oct 2007 - Linda Dachtyl
Nov/Dec 2007 - Xmas issue

Captain Foldback repair services - check out

Website updates

  • The Leslie 610 service manual is (still) in the works being scanned (hmm, I seem to write that every month)
  • A new page has been added to the 'tips' section under Leslie
In other news

Childish release from MM&W
The funk/jazz organ trio of Medeski, Martin & Wood has released a children's album called 'Let's Go Everywhere'. The CD was launched at Levon Helm's 'Midnight Ramble' in Woodstock NY on Jan 12, 2008. You can read more about the CD at and

The album is released on Little Monster Records


Czech please!
Jan Korinek and his ensemble Groove has released a new CD on the British label HardBop Records. Jan Korinek's love of the blues and his impeccable technique is evident on this funky disc named 'Groovin' For Little V'. The CD contains mostly originals by the band members.

You can read more about the CD here:

The 860 is back!
Hammond-Suzuki introduces new miniature Leslie speakers.

Hammond-Suzuki has finally done it: Released a compact Leslie speaker, in many ways recreating the wonderful little model 860 speaker of the 70's. The new speaker models are called G27 and G37. The reason for the 'G' is that these speakers are mostly marketed towards guitarists. These new speakers are perhaps not the obvious choice for a console Hammond, but would work perfectly with any single manual 'clone' organ, such as the Hammond XK-, XB-, XE- or XM- series, as well as Nord Electro C1 or even a B-4 midi setup. Personally, I am speculating that Hammond-Suzuki wants organ players to buy the more expensive model 3300. Still, a 'clone' keyboard should have a built-in EQ that could tailor the sound for a 'G' Leslie even if these cabinets supposedly are optimized for guitar.

The new little model G37 next to a full size model 122AN


Leslie G37 control panel

Model G37 has a built-in 100W amplifier with a tube preamp. The G27 is a passive speaker. Both models contain a true Leslie horn for the treble, a 12" speaker for the lows with a smaller version of the regular bottom rotor found in the bigger speakers. The retail price is around 1000 USD for the G37 and slightly less for the amp-less G27.

An interesting feature is the option of adding a 'gas pedal' to vary the rotor speed continuously. The standard way of selecting just fast or slow is of course also there. When the rotors are put to 'stop' a sensor in the horn and rotor will ensure they are both stopped with the opening facing the front of the cabinet, ensuring maximum forward sound projection. Because the G27 and G37 are marketed towards the guitar market, and not the organ market, there is no 11-pin Leslie input on either. It should not be that big a deal to figure out a suitable adapter.

One organ record that The Captain likes

Jimmy Smith: Standards. Blue Note, 1998.
The CD 'Standards' was released coming up on 10 years ago. Part of the material had previously been available on the long player called 'On The Sunny Side', the remainder being compiled from Smith's other late 50's Blue Note sessions. I got my copy at an airport coming home from vacation in '99. The material is decidedly mellow and contains a few 'oddball' tracks - tracks that I can understand were left unreleased back in the day, but are interesting to listen to now. One example is Mood Indigo where Jimmy makes good use of Rudy Van Gelder's legendary Leslie 21H. The cover photograph may very well have been taken in the RVG studio, which was in fact contained in young Rudy's parents' front room back in the mid 50's. Kenny Burrell, ever tasteful, is the guitarist on this collection and Donald Bailey provides the beat (or the salad mixing) along with Jimmy's left hand.