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Gene Ludwig

Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3

Born: September 4, 1937 | Died: July 14, 2010    

Gene Ludwig

Some say he stole the show that night... the fella from Pittsburgh who showed up late that afternoon, missing the sound check and sort of looking like anyone's junior high math teacher as he strolled around backstage at the 1994 Newark Jazz Organ Jam waiting for his turn to play. As I introduced myself to him, I remember his hands being huge, reminding me of what a bricklayer's hands might be like: long, thick fingers and wide palms. I had looked forward to meeting Gene Ludwig in person. I was trying so hard to be impartial as I listened to each organist who played that night but deep down I, too, felt that Gene grooved harder than the others... I really do love everybody that sits at that bench... no matter who they are or what kind of music they play... but somehow, those who reach the audience quicker and with the most passion, leave me with the more lasting impression. It didn't take me long to figure out what Gene did to that crowd that night to get the response that he got and win over so many new fans: HE PLAYED THE BLUES... That's what those folks came to hear. They wanted to be taken back in time to the old days of the 'Organ Rooms' where every club had a B-3 on the stage and smokey, inner city soul jazz was the gravy of life. When Gene kicked off with Jimmy Smith's 'The Sermon', he was telling that crowd that there's still truth in this music... it hasn't left us and never will... and more importantly, he wasn't afraid to play Jimmy's sound. As an admitted disciple, he was reminding us just how important this is to us all. Gene Ludwig has always been that kind of a player. He knows where he came from and how he got where he is... no frills, nothing pretentious... just SOLID ORGAN GROOVE... That's Gene Ludwig....
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    Young Guns

    HighNote Records
    2014
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    Love Notes Of Cole Porter

    Big O Records
    2011
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    Gene Ludwig: Love Notes Of Cole Porter

    Big O Records
    2011
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    Live in Las Vegas

    Blues Leaf Records
    2006
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    Hands On

    Blues Leaf Records
    2004
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    Now's The Time

    Resonance Records
    1980
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    The Hot Organ

    Resonance Records
    1967
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Featured recording “Young Guns”

Latest Release

Young Guns

HighNote Records (2014)
Karl Stark, Philadelphia Enquirer • August 28, 2005 ”The Pittsburgh-based Gene Ludwig, who played Philly's Zanzibar Blue this month, remains a formidable cat of the stun-and-gun jazz organ school. Whether it's slinky grooves or moments of pure takeoff, Ludwig and his quartet are proficient at this nasty but necessary art.”**********

Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper • January 19, 2006 ”Every organist has their 'First time I saw Jimmy Smith' story, but few of these are the preface to a 50-year career. Pittsburgh's Gene Ludwig swings with such an easy grace that one has to suspect he walks, breathes and snores in that rhythm...

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