Milt Buckner: The Life and Music of a Unique Jazz Pianist and Organist (Woodward)
Willard “Woody” Woodward writes a straightforward account of the career of the keyboard artist who pioneered the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. Milt Buckner paved the way for later organ heroes including Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson and—more recently—Joey DeFrancesco. His legacy encompasses the parallel-chords or locked-hands technique that Buckner developed as a pianist and transferred to his organ playing. Woodward, a pianist and organist inspired by Buckner, is thorough as he traces Buckner’s development, including his breakthrough in the early 1940s with Lionel Hampton’s band. In addition to his solid story telling, Woodward discusses details of Buckner’s settings of the pullout stops that determine the B3’s variety of sounds. It’s fascinating stuff, not too technical for most readers. If you are unfamiliar with Buckner’s work (it’s possible), go here for a demonstration.