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TheDudeAbides

Les Strand

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At this website: http://www.afana.org/jazzorgan.htm#THE BEGINNING

An obscure organist by the name of Les Strand is mentioned. Supposedly JOS referred to him as "The Art Tatum of the organ." And he played a Baldwin organ instead of a Hammond. I can't find any of his records for sale and nothing on YouTube. Has anyone heard anything by him? What is your opinion?

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Where can I find this guy's Prestige recordings? I'd love to hear a sample of his playing. Is Jimmy Smith backing this guy kind of like Charlie Parker saying Rudy Vallee was his only influence?

Big D

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I've been searching for awhile and the only thing I can find is "Les Strand Plays the Yamaha Organ." Which is supposed to be horribly commercial and not at all worth a listen. :(

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Where can I find this guy's Prestige recordings? I'd love to hear a sample of his playing. Is Jimmy Smith backing this guy kind of like Charlie Parker saying Rudy Vallee was his only influence?

Big D

No -- Strand was very subtle, "sophisticated"-tasty, albeit arguably a tad bland for some tastes (quite un-bluesy IIRC). If you've ever heard Joe Mooney's work on accordion and on organ, Strand was kind of like that. A lost world.

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I've heard the Mooney album where he's on organ and singing. Pretty good stuff. So Strand sounded like Mooney. I'd still like to track down an LP or MP3's of the Prestige stuff. If I find anything, I'll let you guys know.

Big D

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So Strand sounded like Mooney.

Big D

Kind of like, IIRC. Don't take it to the bank; I haven't heard a Strand recording in maybe 40 years.

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Yeah, sadly, there is not much out there from Les. I had the privilege of studying Jazz Organ with him for 2 years in Chicago and he personally gave me a few recordings on Cassette Tape, which I still have and am remastering to CD but probably not for release. He did have a unique and complex style. I have a copy of that Yamaha recording he did, which was done after her won the top prize at the world finals of the Yamaha International Electone Festival. I believe Les was the first american to win the world title in that competition. At one point he did several recordings with Duke Ellington when he would come to the Blue Note Jazz club in Chicago but Les told me that, unfortunately, those recordings got lost somewhere in the Ellington estate. I don't think they were ever published but it sure would have been a blast to hear. He was immensely talented and a great teacher.

Geo.

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dude i just heard this dude the other day he is practically, maybe not really, but seriously he sounded upon 1st listen to like that he was like the 'white sun ra' or someone- it was insane. i mean, there are barney kessell and shelly manne groovin', and this dude is tearing it up keith emerson """middle of karn evil 9'''''' style, this record is modern organ jazz insanity. i strongly suggest somone blog it and it surfaces so you guys can all hear how crazy it is. makes me sad i gave up that jimmy smith one i had but im sure this one is even more crazy by far. i mean this guy sounds like no organsist i know but maybe sun ra a ----LITTLE-----. i mean this guys a genius i **HAVE** to get all 3 of his Fantasy lps like mucho pronto. why the f did they plug Korla Pandit so much les strand is so much more out of control. hey you guys are jazz collectiors, have you heard these lps, are they out of this world?

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I never heard him play, but I remember that he used to have a "club date office" on LI back in the 1970s, and he used to get gigs for a jazz pianist friend of mine, who was completely whacked out and unemployable back then, so the gigs were very loose, and we just played jazz on them, whether the people liked it or not.

He talked like a "hep cat", so we thought he was cool.

I've seen one of his LPs at a used record store I go to, but it didn't look like a jazz LP to me.

Edited by sgcim

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