Gene Ludwig | Love Notes of Cole Porter

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Love Notes of Cole Porter

by Gene Ludwig

This CD of 10 tunes is a tribute to the composer Cole Porter, performed by Hammond organ master Gene Ludwig. Releasing after his death in 2010, this is Gene's final CD, but quite possibly his most beautiful.
Genre: Jazz: Hammond Organ
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. What Is This Thing Called Love
6:32 album only
2. Everything I Love
6:53 album only
3. I Love You
4:40 album only
4. Begin the Beguine
7:21 album only
5. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
4:22 album only
6. Every Time We Say Goodbye
6:01 album only
7. Rosalie
4:36 album only
8. Why Can't You Behave?
5:12 album only
9. Night and Day
5:23 album only
10. Dream Dancing
7:49 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
As one of the early adopters of the Hammond organ in jazz after Jimmy Smith revolutionized the instrument in the late 1950s, Gene Ludwig enjoyed the massive popularity of organ-based soul jazz during the 1960s. In those days, “organ rooms” popped up all along the East coast and Midwest, especially in the inner working-class cities like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, and Gene’s stomping grounds of Pittsburgh. Gene worked them all, bringing his swinging style to audiences far and wide. His career behind the mighty Hammond console spanned 51 years, countless gigs, and albums for Atlantic, Mainstream, Prestige, Muse, Loose Leaf, and Blues Leaf.

Gene passed away suddenly on July 14, 2010. Love Notes of Cole Porter represents his last recording session. Tracked in 2008 with a cast of stellar Pittsburgh musicians, it also represents a concept that Gene held dear to his heart; covering some of the incredible songs of Cole Porter, one of Gene’s favorite composers, timeless songs written during the golden age of the Great American Songbook era. His loving wife Pattye knew that Gene would want this album to be heard as his swan song and worked tirelessly to produce it for release. In that spirit, Big O Records is proud to issue one of Gene’s finest recordings.

Featuring Billy Kuhn and Thomas Wendt on drums, Mark Strickland on guitar, and Lou Stellute on saxophone, and engineered by Pittsburgh local George Heid, Sr. in beautiful high-fidelity sound, the focus is all on Gene’s deft command of his instrument, honed and perfected over the decades by no less than a master craftsman.

Gene’s style always belied his gentle demeanor. He may look harmless at first glance, but when he sat down behind the Hammond B3 organ, nothing but fire and intensity spun out of the Leslie speaker like a preacher spreading his message of joy and hope to the jazz organ faithful. We are lucky to have this last gift of music from a true master of the Hammond B3.

For more information on Gene Ludwig visit



to write a review

Larry Grogan

A fitting coda to a great career.
The CD ‘Love Notes of Cole Porter’, recorded with a very tight quartet (with two different drummers) is without exaggeration, up there with the finest organ jazz of the classic era. A collection of the finest love songs to flow from the pen of the legendary Cole Porter, many classics of what the cliché machine has designated the ‘Great American Songbook’, ‘Love Notes…’ sees (hears) Gene and his band, Mark Strickland on guitar, Lou Stellute on tenor and Thomas Wendt and Billy Kuhn alternating on drums (all very good), working in the classic Prestige/Blue Note style, and when I say that I’m not just blowing smoke.

The late 50s and 1960s saw a lot of different varieties of practitioners recording on the Hammond organ, from purely soul/R&B based cats working it out on now rare 45s (like Louis Chachere, RD Stokes and Leo Valentine), post-bop visionaries like Larry Young, and the cats running in the mainstream like Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff and Groove Holmes, all of whom were widely recorded with widely varied results.

During the early part of his career, Gene Ludwig didn't have the opportunity to record as frequently as many of those that I would consider his peers. Whether or not the consistently high quality of what he did record was merely a matter of conservation, i.e. never having been pressured to create more accessible/less inspiring records, or because all he had in him to create was pure class (I lean toward the latter) his legacy is smaller, and dare I say better.

That his final album reinforces that assessment is worth noting.

‘Love Notes of Cole Porter’ is every bit the equal of the best, swinging bop and soul organ sessions of the instrument’s (and Gene's) golden era.

‘Love Notes of Cole Porter’ is also a gift to remind us that age need not be an impediment to a musicians growth. People do a lot of lip service to concepts like ‘maturity’ and ‘experience’, but listening to Gene wail and swing on this session one is treated to the sound of 70 years of technical prowess, seasoned by good taste and above all soul.

Another great thing about ‘Love Notes…’ is that alongside of well know material like ‘Night and Day’, ‘You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To’ and ‘What Is This Thing Called Love’, bona fide standards, covered hundreds of times by all manner of instrumentalists and singers, Gene works out on less familiar, but also exceptional numbers from Porter’s catalog like ‘I Love You’ and ‘Dream Dancing’.

This is serious, wonderfully played jazz and a fitting final statement from one of the great practitioners of the art.

You can pick up ‘Love Notes of Cole Porter’ directly from Big O Records, or over at CD Baby, where you can get it as a CD or as an MP3 download. You can hear samples of the album at both sites. It’s also available at iTunes, but make sure you search by the title, as a search of 'Gene Ludwig' only returns his older albums.