- 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, 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.
Richard "Groove" Holmes
"Brother" Jack McDuff
"Big" John Patton
"Dr." Lonnie Smith
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- To come!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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
- Plays on Maceo Parker's latest: Southern Exposure.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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!
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.
- An Australian player with 2 releases, Man, Dig That Groovy Mode and Rebirth of the Cool.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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!