Friday, November 23, 2012

Kevin Coelho - Funkengruven

 The Joy of Driving a B3  Kevin Coelho and his Hammond B3  in a mix of originals and funky covers. 
Hans Koert

Like in Holland teenagers all around the world take lessons to get their driving license and dream about driving a car …………..  Keven Coelho, a sixteen year old Californian teenager must have had that same ambition, when he selected  an appealing name for his debut album …..: Funkengruven – The Joy of Driving a B3 - The front of Kevin Coelho’s debut album shows a boy driving a car somewhere in the Great Plains with a double organ keyboard as the dashboard ……. Isn't that great?

Kevin Coelho ( photo courtesy: Kevin Coelho)

Kevin Coelho started to play the piano when he was 6 years old and when he was eleven years, he started to play the organ. Some of his teachers were well known jazz organ players like Tony Monaco, who remembers his first meeting with Kevin: A few years ago I got the lucky call from Kevin who was then just turning fourteen years old, wanting to study and take intense lessons with me. The day finally came and he arrived when I had a gig with my Powerhouse trio with Reggie Jackson and Derek DiCenzo.  Kevin sat there with a big smile and I felt so happy to see him feeling good. I was totally floored when he started playing. His vocabulary on the B3 was already very mature and his knowledge of the music I grew up listening to was well studied already. I knew that this young man had talent, confidence, and determination as we began our journey together as teacher and student.

Kevin performed at the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Program, and at the Luna Pier Bootleggers and Blues Festival and the San José Jazz Festival with his group The Groove Messengers.
Kevin Coelho’s trio features guitarist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Reggie Jackson, both musicians from Tony Monaco’s regular trio.

 His debut album contains ten tracks, compositions he arranged in a funky style for his Hammond- B3 organ – Compositions by Randy Masters, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and B3 giant Dr. Lonnie Smith …. the man with the turban.  Kevin recorded two own compositions, the title song Funkengruven and a tribute to his B3-Hammond organ idol Jimmy McGriff, entitled McJimmy.

The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard instrument for jazz, blues, rock, church and gospel music. .....
Although many different models of Hammond organs were produced, the Hammond B-3 organ is most well known. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s the distinctive sound of the B-3 organ (often played through a Leslie speaker) was widely used in blues, progressive rock bands and blues-rock groups. The last electromechanical Hammond organ came off the assembly line in the mid-1970s. (Source: Wikipedia)

Enjoy a film fragment by Kevin Coelho playing one of the tracks of his album, the well known composition by Herbie Hancock Cantaloupe Island.

Personally I like its sixth track the best, McGriff, probably because of its simple funky rhythm and his groovy sound, so typically for the 1960s Hammond groups, but also Donna Lee, a Miles Davis composition, which gets a funky arrangement in Kevin’s hands.

 If you love that groovy sound of the B3-Hammond tradition, don’t forget to listen to this young guy at …. Funkengruven!

Hans Koert
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The groovy Hammond B3 organ trios of the 1960s and 1970s reminds me to great legends like Jimmy Smith or Jimmy McGriff ..... This almost pre-historical instrument hasn't been forgotten since then - a lot of contemporary musicians still love to bring their heavy, almost unmanageable instrument, to the smallest venues in the country to play their groovy lines ..... Kevin Coelho, 16 years young, is the sort of teenage phenom that the Hammond B3 organ hasn't seen in decades- critics say -  Enjoy his debut album: Funkengruven - The Joy of Driving a B3 .......
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