The organ has to be one of the oldest instruments. There are still playable organs, specifically pipe organs, that were built in the 1400’s and are still playable today.
Of course, what has made the organ a part of modern pop culture is the recognizable rock and jazz tones that are found in organs like the Hammond B3 and Leslie Combo famously used by Jimmy Smith and John and Joey DeFrancesco and the Vox Continental Combo Organ that was part of the signature sound of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
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The use of organs in rock and roll wasn’t limited to Ray Manzarek, it also included, the late great, Gregg Allman who made the signature Hammond B3 sound a staple of The Allman Brothers music. In funk, you hear organ in the music of James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic. Dr. Lonnie Smith used his Hammond B3 stylings to the popular music of Beck with his Boogaloo to Beck and young keyboardists like Cory Henry are taking the organ to new levels and keeping it relevant in the jam, funk, gospel and jazz scenes.
Whether it’s gospel, funk, rock and roll, country, jazz…really any style of music, the organ has a place in music.
Organs are now made in portable options with midi controlling options. One thing we value with any good organ is the ability to hook it up to a Leslie Speaker. In the reviews of organs we look at the connectability, the tones, the value and more.