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THE GREG HATZA ORGANIZATION

DIGGIN UP MY ROOTS

FLIP RECORDS 2016

 

 

 

 

Musicians:

Greg Hatza- Nord C2D/vocals

Robert Shadid- drums

Brian Kooken- guitar

Peter Fraize- sax

  1. Baltimore Strut (3:43)

  2. Big Big Back (3:42)

  3. High Heel Sneakers (5:08)

  4. Headin On Down South (5:52)

  5. I Got A Woman (8:05)

  6. Back At The Chicken Shack (7:54)

  7. Night Train (5:05)

  8. Please Send Me Someone To Love (10:16)

  9. Hand Jive (3:43)

  10. Something You Got (4:43)

  11. Stagger Lee (6:10)

    Total Playing Time: [64:21]

     

    Jazz organist Greg Hatza grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania where he learned to play the Hammond B3 organ, the traditional instrument preferred by many jazz organists. Today he performs on the Nord C2D organ, an instrument designed to replicate the sound of the B3. Greg currently lives in Baltimore, where he performs with his band called The Greg Hatza ORGANization, featuring guitarist Brian Kooken, drummer Robert Shahid, and saxophonist Peter Fraize. This disc is a set of blues and R & B tunes, three of which Greg composed: Baltimore Strut, Big Big Back, and Headin On Down South. The rest are a varied collection of blues standards with interesting histories. I Got A Woman was written by singer Ray Charles and Renald Richard, who played trumpet in Ray’s band. Ray first recorded it in 1954 on Atlantic Records. The song is an up-beat rhythm and blues tune, a style sometimes called jump blues. The band plays a long eight minute version which stays tight and lively throughout with fine instrumental solos. High Heel Sneakers is a twelve bar blues number written by Robert Higginbotham, who recorded the song in 1963 under the name Tommy Tucker. The song has been recorded by more than 1000 different artists, including Bill Haley & the Comets, the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. The band performs it with a choppy funk beat and instrumental riffs that make the melody virtually unrecognizable. Night Train is another well-known twelve bar blues standard. The song opens with its uniquely-identifying saxophone wail, and lopes its way with a steady, rocking rhythm that features two fine saxophone and keyboard solos, and an interesting key change near the half-way mark. The song was first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951. Please Send Me Someone To Love was written by singer-songwriter Percy Mayfield in 1950, who recorded it the same year for Art Rupe’s Specialty Records. The song was originally written and sung as a slow love ballad. The band performs it at a bluesy walking pace featuring alternating guitar and keyboard solos. Hand Jive was written by Johnny Otis in 1958 and originally called Willie and the Hand Jive, and was first performed on the Johnny Otis Show. The song is played with a funky Bo Diddley beat, usually accompanied by a series of frenetic hand dance movements. The band stays true to the beat, and the song features an outstanding saxophone solo by Peter Fraize. Stagger Lee is an American folk song that has been around since 1897, and was first published in 1911 and later recorded by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians in 1923. The song is about two pimps in St. Louis, Stag Lee and Billy Lyons, who have a fatal argument over Stag’s hat. The tune has been recorded by over 400 artists, including Lloyd Price, whose 1959 version rose to the top of the Rhythm and Blues charts. Brian Kooken performs a bluesy solo on guitar while the band chants a verse of “Go, Stagger Lee” to finish the set.

    This album was released January, 2017. The music was recorded at Towles Studios, mixed by Vernon Sneed and mastered by Gene Ingham. Engineering was performed by Mark Towles.

    The sound quality is excellent. Liner notes are limited to the disc cover.

    Bruce McCollum

 


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