95

The Greg Hatza ORGANization: Snake Eyes

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Here's a nice soul-jazz date from Baltimore-based organist Greg Hatza that will happily take many back to the smoke filled clubs when organ combos ruled the scene. Some may remember the two nifty trio dates Hatza recorded for Coral in 1967 with guitarist Eric Gale and Grady Tate. If DJs ever happen upon these, they're sure to become acid-jazz classics. Hatza seems to have vanished from the scene as electronic keyboards and fusion took over jazz and resurfaced only recently, after hearing Joey Defrancesco and being encouraged to return to organ at Defrancesco's urging.

Naturally, Hatza is well steeped in the blue bop of Jimmy Smith. But, like Defrancesco, he seems to gravitate more toward the rapid-fire soulfulness of Charles Earland and the modal funk of Lonnie Smith (though he avoids the otherworlds of Larry Young that Defrancesco sometimes explores). The result on this set, the third of his Palmetto releases, is a pleasing program of solid riffing on catchy jazz rooted in soul, gospel, funk and blues.

The Hatza ORGANization is a solid quartet, featuring returning guitarist Paul Bollenbeck (still poised to fulfill his promise, but good even in his Scofield bag), tenor man Ralph Lalama and drummer Dennis Chambers. The best moments are upbeat: the gospel funk of "Stand Up and Be Counted," the soul strut of "Change the World" and the mode supreme of "Trane Station." The remaining half dozen tunes have an attractive appeal that will sound familiar to those who enjoyed Hatza's previous In The Pocket (thank God, no standards). Snake Eyes won't change the world. But it's good (if not essential) contemporary organ combo swing that isn't as gimmicky or as stiff as most of the stuff coming out today.

Tracks:Stand Up and Be Counted; Snake Eyes; Change the World; One Track Mind; First Your Money Then Your Clothes; Spanish Rice; Every Step I Take; Trane Station; Change the World.

Personnel: Paul Bollenbeck: guitar; Ralph Lalama: tenor sax; Dennis Chambers: drums; Greg Hatza: Hammond B-3 organ.

Title: Snake Eyes | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Parking Lot Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review Parking Lot Symphony
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "More Than This" CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.