Jazz Organ Records & Albums

I was thinking that maybe we could add a separate organ category for “What Record Are You Listening To Today?” We have the generic here. There’s already a funk section which obviously includes all keyboards. It seems that most are here for the piano, but it might be helpful to create an organ specific entry for those seeking help with the organ. I’ve added a few organ links before, but there’s no way to find them as such. Just a thought.

And now that I’ve got your attention :wink::

Jerry Bergonzi, the brilliant saxophonist, has a new album, Nearly Blue (Savant Records 2020). One reviewer said, “This is a must-have for any jazz listener, and that’s the short of it!” Don’t know about that, but it’s an organ-based trio with Renato Chicco on Hammond C-3 and Andrea Michelutti on drums., and it’s very good.

Here’s the title cut. I assure you, the rest of the album has fascinating organ work.

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Great idea Scott.

I have created this new “Jazz Organ” section in the “Records, Albums, & Musicians” category.

I will revisit the category icon later to get it looking a little better :grinning:

Nice record… thanks for kicking off this thread.

I posted a few Jimmy Smith records a while back. I will re-post them in this thread as I found them to be nice recordings when ‘getting my toes wet’ in the genre.


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A while back I started compiling a jazz organ playlist to familiarise myself with the genre. At the time I was sidetracked and the initiative was quite short lived, but below are the 3 recordings I bookmarked.

I’m sure this thread will provide ample inspiration to develop my playlist further!

Jimmy Smith - Back at the Chicken Shack

Jimmy Smith - Ode to Billy Joe

Jimmy Smith - Midnight Speical

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Johnny Griffin, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith.

Great recording.

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Here’s one of my favorites from Larry Young, “Ritha” (Into Somethin’. Blue Note 1964), with
Grant Green (g) and Elvin Jones (d). Here’s a blurb from The New Yorker about him:

Influenced by John Coltrane, Young made an extraordinary series of recordings from 1964 to 1969, for the Blue Note label, in which his original ideas and avant-garde tendencies came to the fore. Then he went electric, recording (uncredited) with Miles Davis on “Bitches Brew,” with the drummer Tony Williams and the guitarist John McLaughlin in the hard-edged jazz-rock band Lifetime, with McLaughlin on “Devotion,” and with McLaughlin and Carlos Santana on “Love Devotion Surrender.” Young then recorded his own free-jazz-slash-fusion-jam album, “Lawrence of Newark,” in 1973, followed by some funk-styled albums that weren’t big hits. He died (officially of pneumonia) at the age of thirty-seven, in 1978.

Enjoy :musical_keyboard:

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Looking for something else, I luckily happened on Gary Versace, an incredible jazz organ player. Maybe you already know him, but at any rate here are two cuts from his album “Reminiscence” (Steeplechase, 2007), “For Bill” and “Theolonius”. It’s a very fine ablum with nods to McCoy Tyner and Lennie Tristano as well. Enjoy :musical_keyboard:

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Here’s a 72-year-old generally unknown, great organist. You think of fine players, you seldom hear of Bill Heid. The man is, as they say in Argentina [I lived there for 18 years], “es un monstruo.:” (He’s a monster. :sunglasses:) These videos are from Wylie Avenue (2009). The first is “Always Larry,” obviously dedicated to Larry Young–for me one of the best modal players of all time. The second is the wonderfully titled “Waltz of the Corgies.” On this one, his comping is well worth a study. The always solid Peter Bernstein is on guitar.

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Here’s “Don Is” from a pre-lease of Christian McBrides’s new For Jimmy Wes and Oliver, a big band tribute to Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery, and Oliver Nelson from Mack Avenue. According to their press release, “Don Is,” is a winking homage to bassist and Blue Note honcho Don Was. (Joey DeFrancesco on organ and Mark Whitfield on guitar). Enjoy :musical_keyboard:

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My jazz organ knowledge comes from close to home, then out…I have a band, the Megan Jerome Together Ensemble, with a guitarist, a drummer (my husband, Mike Essoudry), and an organist, Don Cummings.

Don and Mike often play together, and here is a link to their album Black Flower - a song Mike wrote!

I know that Don LOVES Larry Goldings, and Larry plays piano and organ on a huge range of records - I think he’s won a Grammy for something (?), leads his own projects, to Norah Jones, Madeline Peyroux, Maceo Parker, etc…and has all kinds of masterclasses on piano and organ playing from folk/pop/gospel influence to blues and jazz.

I picked this one but I could have picked any one of a huge selection of videos…

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I LOVE these NPR concerts - they’re so great! To see a band, stripped down live, in a small space…it’s so close!

This is Cory Henry (above)

And Booker T. Jones

Don also talks about Larry Young.

I’ve been working with Coltrane’s “Naima” and remembered that a version was on an album by John McLaughlin, After the Rain (1995 Decca Records France). It’s an organ trio with him, Elvin Jones, and Joey DeFrancesco. So here’s that version. But I’ve also added their cover of Carla Bley’s “Sing Me Softly of the Blues.” I’m a great fan of her, often quirky, tunes.

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Thanks for sharing, Megan. I just came across your posting. Your husband’s track is very fine indeed! I’m also a great Larry Golding’s fan. The guy does a bit of everything brilliantly. If you haven’t already, check out his Awareness (2005 Rhino Records). It’s all piano, but so very good., especially “Strays,” his tribute to Billy Strayhorn. And I will second the interest in Larry Young. Words can’t describe how incredible he is. Cheers :musical_keyboard:

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Oh cool great! Thanks Scott! We’ll check it all out.

Here’s the under-rated Don Patterson with Sonny Stitt and Grant Green playing his “Mud Turtle” from Brothers 4 (1970 Fantasy).

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@Scott - I particularly liked this one! :heart:Thanks so much for sharing this Gary versace vid!