Thought I would pen a little bit about the Michael Fakenstein CD's on offer as contributions are welcomed re them.

I grew up with a tone wheel Hammond organ living outside my bedroom door in the 1960' you do and have always enjoyed the many LP and later CD offerings in such varied styles. A short time ago I stumbled when looking for recordings made on a Hammond XE-200 and spotted Michael Falkenstein on a CD cover so secured it for the archive. Here then is a short review of three of his CD offerings.

Hammond Swing Pops & Ballades cd05029-2
Got this CD to hear my own model of organ played by the general manager of Hammond in Germany which contains 19 tracks played live. The CD has quite a varied selection with everything from Phantom of the Opera to Chan Chan all recorded in 2005 with registrations made during the day of recording. The disc showcases the instrument well and a good souvenir to keep to hand if you have the XE-200 yourself as I do. Slightly bias I know but hey ho. After buying this CD I started to look for more of Michael playing.

High Heel Sneakers cd02022-2
Performed on what was in 2002 the new Hammond B3 the disc contains 14 tracks along with Grand Piano, vocals Drums and much more so quite a packed sound on many tracks. I like Michaels self composed track 'Save the Children' which is different with song sheet included in the box. Also worthy of a mention is track 11 'je t'aime' which is really nicely done. Once again all registrations were done on the day of recording and you do feel the live in the listening.

Hammond Explosion cd 05030-2
Probably my favourite of them all this one which features the XK-3 and Leslie 2102 and additional band set recorded in 2005 containing 13 great performances. The track 'Six year itch' will have you getting jiggy for sure although 'Jam session' is a bit heavy going for me its an age thing you know. The Hammond sounds fantastic and no doubt Michael is a truly accomplished player capable of many styles and yes I am now a fan. The inserts of his CD's make for good reading as well and I like his outlook to encourage creative thinking. Track 10 'Red Belgium Sweetie' is a really sweet listen and nice with Harmonica and weeping guitar solos.

Fingers crossed we will shortly have a XK-5 offering from Michael before long to add to the collection and as they say, thank you for the music and happy birthday to you as of last month.