During the past few years, a popular trend has taken hold in the jazz world, the comeback of the Hammond B-3 organ. Under the influence of the great Jimmy Smith in the ’60’s, the instrument had become so popular that it seemed that ever major city featured organ combos in their neighboGroup Picture of the Current Members of The Greg Hatza Organization — (Left to Right: Peter Fraize, Marty Morrison, Michael Pavone, Greg Hatza)rhood bar. Then in the ’70’s, with the rise of the electric piano, synthesizers and disco rhythms, the organ went into a near complete eclipse, and almost became extinct.
Greg Hatza’s career has paralleled closely the ups and downs of the organ, but as with the instrument, he has survived the lean years and is currently in prime form. The turning point for Greg occurred in 1995 when he met Joey DeFrancesco, a member of the new generation of organ players. Joey collected all the old organ recordings and had Greg’s old albums, released by MCA subsidiary label Coral Records. Through a friend, Greg heard Joey wanted to meet, so he went to hear Joey play at a local jazz club, the New Haven Lounge. There they met for the first time, and they talked all night ’til closing. Joey convinced Greg to start playing the organ aThe Greg Hatza Organization Promotional Poster from Japangain, telling him “the B-3 was back to stay.” Soon after that, the first Greg Hatza Organization CD was recorded and released. Greg’s comeback was on it’s way.