^Groove^: Jazz

Early Jazz

Milt Buckner

One of the elder statesmen of Jazz organ, he used the instrument in big bands in the early 50's. He recorded until his death in 1977.

"Wild" Bill Davis

Considered the father of Jazz organ, which he picked up in 1947, after arranging for Earl Hines & Louis Jordan. He influenced people like Jimmy Smith, Bill Doggett and Milt Buckner, and toured with Duke Ellington's orchestra in the late 70's. Davis passed away in 1995; the Clef Club in Philadelphia held a tribute with Shirley Scott, Trudy Pitts, "Papa" John DeFrancesco and Bill Doggett.

Earl "Fatha" Hines

One of the forefathers of the piano and organ use in Jazz, his music is probably more often heard at roller rinks than at concert halls. Recorded from the late 20's until the late 70's, his innovations (adaptations of Louis Armstrong's style to the piano) forged the piano (and organ) as a leading instrument in Jazz bands.

Fats Waller

Fats Waller, one of the fathers of Jazz piano, also recorded with a pipe organ. This is difficult to play, as there is a half-step delay between the time the note is played and the sound comes out of the pipe. Waller used a Hammond on tour because he obviously couldn't travel with a pipe organ.

Soul-Jazz

Jimmy Smith

Richard "Groove" Holmes

"Brother" Jack McDuff

Jimmy McGriff

"Big" John Patton

"Dr." Lonnie Smith

Larry Young

Prestige Records is compiling a Soul-Jazz Encyclopedia; Vol. 1 is out already. This compilation has songs from several artists listed in this section. Cashing in on this Funk revival, Prestige also released, Funky Beats, with Earland, McDuff, Spencer, Johnny "Hammond" and Sonny Phillips accompanying funky drummers.


Charles Earland

Made some great Funk/Soul-Jazz recordings in the late 60's & early 70's. Played with Jimmy McGriff, Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr. and others. He was a sax player who switched to the Hammond because he couldn't keep an organist in his groups. Some of his funky tracks are available on the compilation series Acid Jazz Vols. 2,3. Prestige recently re-issued his classic Black Talk. In the last ten years, he has recorded as many albums as Jack McDuff, including sessions for Milestone and Muse. His latest, Ready And Able (Muse), was issued 9/94.

Don Patterson

Most of his output on Prestige is unavailable on CD, but he recorded with Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt, among others. Fantasy just issued a 2on1 CD called Dem New York Dues which contains Opus De Don and Oh Happy Day. Genius of the B-3 (Muse) showcases some great talent on standards and the "Theme to Love Story".

Trudy Pitts

To come!

Freddie Roach

A talented organist who emerged in the 60's with a slew of Jimmy Smith wannabes. He made a name for himself and had some nice dates for Blue Note and some late 60's funkier outings for Prestige.

Mel Rhyne

Organist in Wes Montgomery's trios. His smoky-Jazz-bar-room/church-Gospel style is widely imitated but quite unique. He recently released 2 albums on Criss Cross, including one with Joshua Redman.

Rhoda Scott

She moved to France early in her career, and became Europe's most revered organist. Her virtuostic style blends elements of "Wild" Bill Davis' and Richard "Groove" Holmes' techniques. Rhoda Scott is unique in that she plays the bass pedals barefoot. She has recorded many albums for Barclay, which she has compiled herself in about 10 releases from PolyGram/Verve. Scott is still recording and touring in Europe, as well as being involved with the French fan organisation "Tribute To Hammond".

Shirley Scott (Photo)

A great accompanist, she often played with her husband Stanley Turrentine, as well as Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. A trumpeter originally, she recorded some albums under her own name, but hasn't released much since her breakup with Turrentine, except for Oasis (Muse) and an acoustic album Blues Everywhere on the revived English Candid label. She's one of the few organists who liked recording with bassists, particularly George Duvivier.

Winston Walls

An unrecorded virtuoso who turned down recording contracts as he preferred playing live and touring with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff and Jimmy McGriff (once all four toured together!). His 1994 release with Jack McDuff, Schoolkids Records' Boss of the B-3, is an organ tour de force and a great live recording which I highly recommend!

"Baby Face" Willette

Introduced by Lou Donaldson on his Here 'Tis Blue Note release. He recorded another classic with Grant Green, Face To Face. Willette's Stop and Listen was reissued in Blue Note's Connoisseur series. Green shines as usual, and Willette has some very nice solos. IMHO, he doesn't quite compare to "Groove", but he sure can groove. *:o)

"Modern" & "Retro" Jazz

Will Boulware

Plays on Maceo Parker's latest: Southern Exposure.

Joey DeFrancesco

Born in 1971, he already has 6 major label issues, also plays trumpet, and even was a Miles Davis protege. His father is a well-known organist from Philadelphia and has 2 releases on Muse with his 2 sons (Johhny on guitar and Joey on trumpet). Joey's latest release, The Street of Dreams (Big Mo) shows off his singing talents as well, reminding us of Harry Connick Jr. (Joey names Frank Sinatra as an influence in his organ voicings). He recently recorded an album with the late Danny Gatton, Relentless (Big Mo), and has recorded several times with Houston Person and Paul Bollenback.

Barbara Dennerlein

A B-3 player from Germany, her pedal technique is widely admired. She has over nine releases, including one solo organ recording. She was recently signed by Verve, and her first release for them was Take Off! with Roy Hargrove, Dennis Chambers and Don Alias. Her 1989 release Straight Ahead! is anything but, and "Open and Free" (track #5) is a more appropriate title. This CD has Ray Anderson on trombone, Mitch Watkins on guitar and Ronnie Burrage on drums.

Larry Goldings

Todd Hildreth (Java Men)

A young gun from Louisville, KY., Todd and his friends Craig Wagner and Ray Rizzo are pouring their diverse musical knowledge into the Java Men, a Jazz organ trio. Their self-produced CD A Letter to St. Paul was Louisville's most popular CD in 1995. You can listen to sound bites and order it from the group's home page. The trio plays regularly in the Kentucky region and surrounding states, and ventures to the East Coast and abroad occasionally. They've taken the Jazz Organ trio idiom and modernized it with a smoother feel and various influences including Country and Folk.

Eddy Louiss

Eddy Louiss is France's most famous organist. He played with Jean-Luc Ponty, Kenny Clarke, Daniel Humair and Jimmy Gourley amond others, and recorded some classic albums in the late 60's. His recent live recording with Michel Petrucciani, Conference de Presse (Dreyfus), is a gem!

John Medeski

Amina Claudine Myers

Member of the group that eventually became the Art Ensemble of Chicago, her piano recordings as leader and accompanist are highly regarded by critics and musicians alike. Her solo recordings are mostly piano, but she's part of Lester Bowie's New York Organ Ensemble (with James Carter). Her style fuses many influences, but has a Gospel tinge.

Dorian Mode

An Australian player with 2 releases, Man, Dig That Groovy Mode and Rebirth of the Cool.

Jeff Palmer

Stéfan Patry

Don Pullen

His avant-garde piano recordings are an acquired taste, but he has recorded on organ, including Maceo Parker's Roots Revisited (Verve 843 751-2 1990), one of my favorite albums. Pullen recently succumbed to cancer.

Richard Tee (Stuff)

To come!

Dan Wall

He's recorded on piano as a leader. His two recordings with John Abercrombie and Adam Nussbaum on ECM While We're Young (93) & Speak of the Devil (94) showed a strong Larry Young influence, and exceptional improvisational skills.

Paul "Groove" Wagnberg (The Real Thing)

Swedish organist, based in Norway, who has 3 releases with the group The Real Thing, he was chosen to be video taped for Hammond instruction videos (see Hammond-Leslie FAQ bibliography).

Dave Witham

Plays B-3 on Lee Ritenour's Wes Bound (GRP GRD-9697). To be honest with you, as much as I love Wes Montgomery, I prefer Lee's arrangements to Wes'. I really like Witham's playing on "Boss City".

Sun Ra, Lou Bennett, Paul Bryant, Clare Fischer, Odell Brown, Jackie Davis, Lenny Dee

Notable organists; need info please!


Jazz Blues Funk Jazz-Funk Acid-Jazz Rock Reggae

Jazz ~ Blues ~ Funk ~ Jazz-Funk ~ Acid-Jazz ~ Rock ~ Reggae

Hammond Grounds ^Groove^

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