Jazz Organ Combo Is 'Like Having A Meal Together'
“I think ten years ago I approached the organ similarly to how I play the piano, and then I started to realize that certain things just didn't work as well,” says Doc Watkins, explaining the different technique required to switch from his normal instrument, piano, to the Hammond B3 at Jazz, TX.
“You still got the black keys and the white keys, and the layout’s exactly the same, but the types of licks that you would play on the piano just don’t translate as well on the organ and vice versa.”
Doc Watkins’ organ combo on this date includes Adam Carillo on sax, Kyle Keener on drums, and Mike Porter on bass. The group stretches out on tunes like “Back at the Chicken Shack,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and other soulful classics that seem to lend themselves to the the B3’s sound.
“Once you settle into that kind of groove with the Hammond group, there's nothing like it and it's so unique that you don't you don't really want to leave! And so a lot of times with a jazz group where everyone's soloing, it's almost like everyone's trying to outdo each other. Everyone's trying to one-up each other, and there's all this energy, and every solo has this big buildup and then this climax… and everything with the organ group I feel the complete opposite,” Doc says.
“It's just about everybody. It's almost like we're having a meal together and we're just sitting around telling stories and telling jokes and we're just kind of grooving out together. There are nights that I could play a single song and that would be the set. You know when we just play a song for 45 minutes! We've never actually done that, and I don't know that would be the best choice, but there were times that I think I could sit in this groove for a long time.”
You’re invited to sit in the Hammond hot tub for this set, recorded March 28, 2018 “Live At Jazz, TX.” Preview the audio in the player below, or tune in Saturday nights at 7:00 on Texas Public Radio.