Caesar Frazier

"Doing what I've loved all of my life"

my approach

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My Approach to playing Jazz, Funk and Blues on the Hammond B-3 organ

From the time that I was a teenager, I was attracted to the "broad manner" that legacy organist as Jackie Davis, Wild Bill Davis, Milt Bruckner, Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson and Jack McDuff used when playing the organ. And therefore, the "broad approach" as I refer to it, has remained a primary ingredient in my approach to performing on this marvelous instrument.

When I refer to "The Broad Approach" I am speaking of having a relationship with (understanding of) great chord construction, using the organ as an orchestral instrument (big band style), developing a good bass (pedal) sound, using mature sounding stops, (for Jazz, Funk or Blues, some stops fit the genres better that others) and developing the control and dexterity to manuever the components of the instrument in a smooth manner.

I, most times, try to use sensitive and thoughtful dynamics, which I find is the main ingredient to controlling and exciting the listener. Many players tend to think that everything "fast and loud" is the path to an effective performance. All of the legacy players fore-mentioned understood the more mature use of dynamics approach was most affective.

Of course, developing a full approach to the instrument undoubtedly require time spent studying the history of the players that created the game and their styles.

I was very fortunate to have been in the second generation of practitioners of the craft and to have known and sparred with several of the masters. I owe everything that I play to Jimmy Smith, Jackie Davis, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson and a host of other players that never gained much international notoriety, but were very fine players.

My own "Instincts" have proven to be very helpful along the performance trail as well, delivering what I have loved most about life....playing the Hammond B-3.