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"Errol Garner Style Organ"

Also known as Squabbling.

JimmySmith claims to be the originator of this style, which seems to be nearly impossible to describe in print. It involves playing the melody with block chords, block grace-notes, and block trills.

Typically, the registration used is 80 0008 888 (or sometimes 80 0000 888?). (JimmySmith often uses Percussion "FourUp" as well.) Try it with Chorus on C-3 and Leslie on fast.

In an attempt to describe the undescribable, here is an example of the general technique, playing from F to F# to G, 2 beats each in a moderate tempo (right hand):

F - thumb slurs E to F, or Eb-E-F, followed by C a fifth up, followed by octave F so the F/C/F are all held for an instant. This takes about 1 beat at moderate tempo, but maybe played faster or slower as the groove dictates... JOS may do this 4x per beat in a ballad, or once per 2 beats in an uptempo piece.

F# - difficult to cleanly slur the F-F#, so the slur is usually not added. F# to C# to upper F#, in the same tempo

G - thumb slur F# to G, followed by D, followed by upper G.

The squabble continues in a pretty much legato manner as long as desired.

Note that the center note is typically taken from the chord scale of the current chord, and so may be fourth, sharp four or fifth, depending on context.

Bottom line - listen to the examples: when you hear it, you'll know what to do...


Mack the Knife, and Makin' Whoppee on Crazy Baby; Satin Doll on Organ Grinders' Swing.
I Cover the Waterfront on A Bagful of Soul; Frame for the Blues on Live at the Apollo.
Work Song and All of Me on Live at the Five Spot; On the Street of Dreams on Street of Dreams.

Some more comments, excerpted from posts to the ?HammondZone:

?MikeReed writes:

It is an octave, plus the fifth "inside", and add the fourth.

To which ScottHawthorn replies:

Of course there is more to the squabble than just the 4th and 5th intervals and it's almost impossible to explain fully.... ... Then there are the "double wipes" up to the octave notes, when possible. Then there is the tremolo (classical term), or "rolling chords" (what everybody else calls it). Then comes the weird part: as performed by JimmySmith and his copycats, the squabble is almost always done in Eb or its relative minor, Cm, with an A natural (flatted fifth) in the tonic chord, instead of the (correct) fifth. This, mixed with the extreme harmonic content caused by the drawbar settings, is what really gives the squabble its strange sound. It defies all logic, but listen to any classic JOS squabble, and it's there.


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