“Hammond Night” hits a Home Run in Chicago

The City of Chicago has been abuzz with the Cubs Playoffs, but on October 16, the hot players were at the UNCOMMON GROUND on the Windy city’s Devon Avenue. The Hammond Family (#hamfam) invaded the upscale Restaurant/Performance Venue with JIM ALFREDSON and BRIAN CHARETTE leading the charge.  The small stage was no problem for Jim’s Sk2 and Brian’s Sk1, along with Drummer JORDAN YOUNG’S modest kit. Jim and Brian met a few years ago in the bustling Hammond Winter NAMM booth, and appeared together that Evening with Wil Blades as part of the Sound Soul Summit concert. This year, Brian’s fall tour swung through Jim’s Michigan stomping grounds, and the pair decided to mount some long-awaited duo dates with a field trip to the City By The Lake.  The night started strong with James Oscar’s “The Cat”, and the savvy crowd (there were many Hammond owners/players there) caught wind this was going to be a very special evening. They barely took a break between numbers with flurries of notes flying between the two. The duo each moved between the Drawbar tones and Extravoices for a rich and varied palette. Chicago is the US HQ for Hammond, and the guys asked National Director Of Sales (and Killer Bassist) GREGG GRONOWSKI and Sk Product Specialist (and Hammond Artist himself)  SCOTT MAY to do a few numbers from Scott’s CD “Outside The Inside”. A third Sk was brought up for Scott to play, and The Rock/R&B groove brought a fine contrast to the modern modal jazz that permeated the evening. There were more Hammond Artists in the crowd. TONY PATLER, keyboards for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason and his bandmate, Drummer ALVINO BENNETT came up to jam Dave’s hit arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”. Jim Alfredson and Tony traded Hammond Licks, while Scott picked up his trusty Guitar and Sang. After a short break, Jim, Brian and Jordan retook the stage for more blistering and cool B-3 Jazz and Funk. Another special guest from the Audience was coaxed onstage as Hammond Artist TOMMY LEERSCHEN slammed some fine Chicago Blues. Brian and Jim closed the show to a warm round of applause, and well-wishes from all as they left the stage. The Uncommon Ground Management dug the show, and we think this won’t be the last “Hammond Night” we’ll see on the North Side of Chicago. There may not be a World Series coming to the neighborhood, but as long as the Hammond Family takes the stage, there will be plenty of “Grand Slams”!!

One Comment

  • Robert St-Louis
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Last year My friend bought me tickets to go see Brian At the BDT in Hull Qc, Didn’t even know who Brian was, So got to the gig a little early and who sit down at our table…Brian, so we chatted about Hammonds of course, So the gig starts and all he had was an Sk-1 ,61 keys, I did not know much about it other than seeing on You tube, So by the end of the night I was sold both on Brian as an unbelievable player, I’m now the proud owner of an SK-1 and absolutely love it and so does my band mates. Thanks Brian for the great show and thanks Hammond.

    Bobby St-Louis

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