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B3tles - A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four

B3tlesPop music has been a rich resource jazz artists have mined for genera- tions and the music of the 1960s is no exception with many finding inspiration in the songs of The Beatles, the quintessential band of that era.

organissimo, the acclaimed Michigan-based trio centered around the powerful Hammond B3 organ, presents a new take on the Beatles oeuvre on its 6th album, B3tles - A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four. While traveling the highways of the American South returning from a festival in Tupelo, MS, in 2016 the band passed the time listening to their favorite Beatles songs and inevitably discussed arranging them for the organ trio format. They eventually convened in Alfredson’s home studio to flesh out those ideas and pick songs, with arrangements coming together in a group setting as ideas flew back and forth.

Founding members organist Jim Alfredson and drummer Randy Marsh came up with a clever approach to the George Harrison classic “Taxman,” that opens the album as it also does Revolver which inspired the cover art on B3tles. Paul McCartney’s iconic bassline is present but squeezed into 7/8 time, instead of the original 4/4. The band deftly shifts back and forth between signatures as guitarist Lawrence Barris provides funky stabs and a George Benson-esque solo over the 4/4 vamp. Barris, the newest member of the band, contributed heavily to the arrangements. Metric shifts continue with his arrangement of “All You Need Is Love,” swung in 5/4 time, with interspersed measures of 3/4 and he also came up with the gospel feel of “The Long And Winding Road,” inspired by Aretha Franklin’s version from 1972 and the swinging versions “If I Fell” and “I Will.”

On “Dig A Pony,” a hidden gem from Let It Be, the band rips through a jazz waltz with a tricky solo from Marsh at the end. “Can’t Buy Me Love” grooves along with a mighty shuffle, an organ trio staple since the days of Jimmy Smith, which features percussion from Bill Vits. Mr. Vits and Mike List add to the psychedelia of “Within You Without You,” with Alfredson manning a massive modular synthesizer and running his Hammond through effects pedals, modulators and other studio wizardry to create a lush soundscape that embraces the listener.

B3tles presents a fresh look at beloved Beatles songs and the care organis- simo has put into their music makes this album a joyful and inspired listen.

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organissimo returns to the studio with a stunning collection of soul jazz for modern ears. Loaded with greasy grooves, funky swirling Hammond organ, and gutsy guitar, Dedicated expands on the organissimo sound with new textures and a bold new focus. The spotlight is on groove and Dedicated delivers.

Featuring 10 new original songs and 1 very funky cover, Dedicated is laid-back, swinging, jazz with soul and a decidely groove orientated bent. The disc opens up with the high-energy Randiculous, showcasing organissimo's trademark tight interplay. Other highlights include the spacey intro Omen which seamlessly flows into the dedication to organist Jim Alfredson's beloved daughters, the waltz Three Sisters. Gotcha Back is a modern funk-fueled classic, like a new Caddy, while the burner Patterson's People (dedicated to jazz great Don Patterson) swings like mad and the offbeat flow of Up In The Playroom is as lively as it's title suggests.

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Alive & Kickin'!

Alive & Kickin'!, the latest CD by organissimo, displays the soul-jazz trio at the top of their game in front of a live and lively audience. Recorded at WKAR-TV in Studio A as part of the television series BackStage Pass, Alive & Kickin'! brilliantly showcases the amazing ensemble interplay and seamless improvisations that are hallmarks of organissimo's sound.

The track listing reads like a set of "greatest hits" from organissimo's repertoire of live favorites. Songs from all three studio albums are extended, revitalized, and re-interpreted in the moment, spurred to new places by the energy from the crowd. This is organissimo at their funky best! Alive & Kickin'! bristles and roars with electricity and fire. The group's near telepathic reactions, honed from years of playing on the road together, are captured in beautiful high fidelity sound.

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Groovadelphia finds the band deftly refining their signature sound while simultaneously stretching the tradition of the organ-based trio. Jazz, blues, gospel, and even hints of progressive rock and fusion seamlessly meld together. The ensemble interplay and solo improvisation between the trio has never been tighter than on Groovadelphia.

Groovadelphia topped the CMJ Jazz Charts for three weeks at #1 and stayed in the JazzWeek Top 50 for 14 weeks, peaking at #22. It won two WYCE Jammie Awards for Best Jazz Album and Best Song and was also named one of the Best Releases of 2008 by WVPE, KJAZZ, CKCU-FM, and Jim Wilke's Jazz After Hours program, syndicated on over 60 NPR stations nationwide. It is also nominated for a Detroit Music Award.

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This Is The Place

Winner of the 2005 WYCE Jammie Awards for Best Jazz Album and Album of the Year. Named one of the best releases of 2005 by Jim Wilke 's Jazz After Hours program in Seattle (syndicated on over 60 NPR stations nationwide), WHRV in Virginia Beach, WBEZ in Chicago, WVIA-FM in Pittston PA, WBLV Blue Lake Public Radio, WLNZ in Lansing, WEMU in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, KXJS in Sacramento, WYCE in Grand Rapids, Jazz 90.1 in Rochester NY, Real Detroit Weekly Magazine, the Detroit Metro Times, and the Lansing City Pulse, "This Is The Place" furthers organissimo's commitment to new compositions and arrangements that extend the range of the organ-based trio.

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Waiting For The Boogaloo Sisters...

The debut album "Waiting For The Boogaloo Sisters..." features all original songs and the brilliant work of Ron Blake on tenor saxophone and flute. It won the 2003 WYCE Jammie Award for Best Jazz Album and was named one of the Best Releases of 2003 by Jim Wilke's Jazz After Hours program, syndicated on over 60 NPR stations nationwide. As Cadence magazine wrote, "Organ aficionados should consider this a red alert."

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Live - 2007 East Lansing Jazz Festival (free)

organissimo performs at the 2007 East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (easy for you to say!) This is just a simple live stereo feed from the mixing board. Download individual tracks by clicking on the track numbers below or download them all at once by clicking on the ZIP file. The ZIP file is 87mb. Enjoy!

Download: Tr1, Tr2, Tr3, Tr4, Tr5, Tr6, Tr7 - ZIP file (87mb)