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 neighborhood 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 again, 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.
Since then, Greg has recorded four CD's under the Greg Hatza Organization banner. The group has
performed nationally and internationally with premier performances at the Blue Note, in New York and Fukuoka, Japan.
No one can predict the future. Whatever it's eventual
fate as a jazz instrument of choice, you can bet that the Hammond B-3 organ never sounded more dynamic than it does in the hands of Greg Hatza.