OFF THE RECORD - An Organ Solo by Eddie Jobson: "Night After Night"

Image placeholder title

(From the September 1981 issue of Keyboard. Check out our exclusive interview with Jobson in the December 2016 issue.)

Few rock keyboardists in recent years have generated as much interest as Eddie Jobson, who was voted Best New Talent in Keyboard Readers' Poll in 1978. Although he earlier worked with Frank Zappa and Roxy Music (and has since gone on to tour and record Jethro Tull), Jobson became known primarily for his work with U.K., a keyboards/bass/drums trio whose powerhouse sound was close enough to the classic Emerson, Lake & Palmer sound to attract hard-core fans of Keith Emerson at a time when Emerson's own group was in the process of collapsing.

The solo (click here to view the notation) is taken from the live U.K. album Night After Night[E.G. Records (dist. By Polydor), PD-1-6234]. It was played on a Hammond C-3 organ, an instrument Jobson added to his lineup only after guitarist Alan Holdsworth left the group. However, he reports, "I haven't used the Hammond since U.K. broke up, and I don't have any plans to use it. Maybe in 1990 they'll have a '70s revival and bring back the Hammond, like the Vox Continental organ revival of the last couple of years. When the Hammond sound has died out, I'll blow the dust off it and bring it back. I love the Hammond—it’s a fabulous instrument. But it's so associated with that early '70s sound. I want to concentrate on other instruments I can use to develop my own sound and my own style. As much as I enjoy playing the Hammond, I always felt that I couldn't really do anything on it that Emerson hadn’t done already."

Jobson reports that the drawbar setting for this solo was virtually full out. "Maybe the black bars, the harmonic bars, were nudged in a bit. And the top drawbar would have been inoperable because the solo has the Hammond percussion setting on it." The left-hand chords were played with a string setting on a Yamaha CS-80 polyphonic synthesizer. For added expressiveness, Jobson turned the rotating Leslie speaker on and off periodically with a foot switch. In the transcription, a large 'L' is used to indicate where the Leslie is turned on, and an asterisk is used to indicate where it is turned off.

In bars 1 and 14, a glissando has been indicated with a slanting line. The wedge in bar 9 is a glissando played with the flat of the palm, and the blocks in bar 24 are clusters, again probably played with the palm. The bass guitar plays a pedal tone riff throughout the solo, an E in bars 2-9, a C in bars 10-17, and an E again in bars 18-25. These notes are shown under the left-hand part in parentheses. Because the solo is played in the Mixolydian mode, it is notated with only three sharps although the key is E.

"This was a less spontaneous solo than some," Jobson explains. "About half of it was melody that remained the same every time we played it. I just meandered in and out around that basic tune. The tune wasn't really designed to go that far out. It was one of the more accessible songs on the album, I suppose, and it certainly was an accessible song live, too. It was a lot of fun to play, though, because it wasn't particularly demanding." Whether you find it demanding will probably depend partly on whether you can make your fingers move as fast as Eddie's fingers do.