95

The Greg Hatza ORGANization: Snake Eyes

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
The Greg Hatza ORGANization: Snake Eyes 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 Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Contrasts" CD/LP/Track Review Contrasts
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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