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Mike LeDonne Quartet at Smoke

Mike LeDonne  

Smoke is a happening jazz room near Columbia University in Manhattan, and Tuesday nights are set aside for Organ Grooves. The A-team is a quartet made up of Mike LeDonne on the Hammond B-3, joined by tenor sax player Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Kenny Washington. The group's first CD, Smokin' Out Loud, came out in 2004 on the Savant label.

Mike LeDonne

In the jazz world, Mike LeDonne is better known for his piano playing. After graduating from the New England Conservatory, Mike spent his formative years in the 1980s working with such legends as Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins.

In 1988 LeDonne joined the Milt Jackson Quartet, spending 11 incredible years working with the vibraphone master and eventually becoming music director for the group.

LeDonne first took up the organ at age 10 and when he was 14, his father bought him his first Hammond B-3, an instrument that he says "has the soul built right in." In 2000 he sat in on a tribute concert at Smoke to "The Mighty Burner" -- the late organ legend Charles Earland. It went so well that club owner Paul Stache scheduled Mike for a five-week Tuesday night run, and he's been there ever since.

"Mellow Soul" (Patterson)
"Prayer for Mary" (LeDonne)
"Silverdust" (LeDonne)
"One for Don" (LeDonne)
"In the Bag" (N. Adderley)


  • Mike LeDonne on the Web

    Our live recordings were engineered by WBGO's Spencer Graves, with help from Yujin Cha.

    The house sound was by Paul Stache, who also happens to be part owner of SMOKE! Happy Fifth anniversary to the club, and thanks so much to Paul and Frank Christopher for their help in making this recording possible.

    This show was written and produced by Mark Schramm, and mixed JazzSet's Technical Director Duke Markos. Our series producer is Becca Pulliam; our executive producer is Thurston Briscoe the Third, of WBGO-FM in Newark.