Richard “Groove” Holmes — X-77
Recorded Live at the Lighthouse
I’m really appreciating this selection tonight. X-77 by Richard “Groove” Holmes. An organ jazz album recorded live at a small club in Hermosa Beach, CA in 1969. This is unpretentious stuff. Jazz for enjoyment, not overly ambitious, comfortable and familiar like your favorite hat. I appreciate the fact that it was recorded in some small club, not a big festival or music hall. Working band music. No super famous players. Not even a B3 is used, just some kind of Hammond X77 whose sponsorship probably paid for the session.
It reminds me of one of those great Church on Monday night sessions at the Continental Gallery. Everyone sounds so relaxed.
A few thoughts though. 1. I like organ jazz with a bass player. I guess I’m biased, but there's a different level of engagement when the organ player isn't running the entire harmonic show by his/herself. Also, there are certain feels and articulations that just can't be done with foot pedals.
2. Organ jazz isn't appreciated enough as the bridge into psychedelic rock that it is IMO. Other jazz didn't have the same funkiness and ferocity of drumming and guitar playing. The same level of bluesiness.
Anyway, one day I’ll get to hear live music in person again. To walk up to a bar and order a drink and hang out in a crowded club listening to music live like this. Non-world stopping, unpretentious real music played by dudes who couldn't give a fuck about being famous who’ve probably spent more time sweating and working at their craft to make it sound easy, effortless, and comfortable than most people could fathom. I can only imagine the emotion of that moment but this music reminds me that it was real and will be again someday.
My heart goes out to all my musical brethren and sistren out there trying to summon the resolve to stay engaged as their guiding purpose has been transformed. I’m right there with you all. ❤