Jeff Palmer - organ

Jeff Palmer

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Jeff Palmer named his last release Island Universe which also means "another dimension", where his organ playing and music have landed. Taking off where Larry Young left off, Palmer, like Coltrane, has found a direct link between his soul and his instrument, the Hammond® B-3 organ.

Born on June 1st, 1948 in Jackson Heights, NY, Jeff grew up in a musical family (his father was a guitarist). He started studying classical music when he was 4, first taking up the accordion. However, after hearing the Hammond® organ at 8, he fell in love with the beast. His first organ album was Jimmy Smith's Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff?. He switched instruments when at 15 he got a B-3 for his birthday. For the next 20 years, Jeff played many gigs in a variety of Jazz and Blues bands throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe.

Jeff is a self-taught organist, not a pianist turned organist. Over the years, he has performed with many famous musicians, including Grant Green, George Benson, John Scofield, Stanley Turrentine, Lou Donaldson, Eddie Harris, James Moody, John Abercrombie, Arthur Blythe, Marvin "Smitty" Smith and Rashied Ali. In fact, 16 years after having heard his first Jimmy Smith album, Jeff spent a week with him while touring in Miami, FL.

However, it was pianist Paul Bley who helped launch Jeff's recording career by producing his first album Solo Organ/Outer Limit on Improvising Artists. This 1981 release is an organ tour de force which explores the harmonic possibilities of the B-3/122 combination. Bley also asked Palmer to tour with him in Europe in 1982 and 1984.

In 1987, Palmer released his first in a series of quartet albums with John Abercrombie on guitar. This one, Laser Wizzard, with Adam Nussbaum and Gary Campbell, was nominated for a Grammy Award. On the next one, Abracadabra, Jeff went with ex-Miles Davis band member Dave Liebman on soprano sax and Abercrombie's recurrent drummer Adam Nussbaum.

The now classic Ease On with Arthur Blythe on alto and Victor Lewis on drums, as well as Jeff's next project Shades of the Pine with Billy Pierce on tenor and the hottest drummer on the Jazz scene today Marvin "Smitty" Smith, were both highly acclaimed for their challenging Blues-based compositions, hard driving grooves and fiery performances.

Island Universe, his latest release, is also starting to gather some good reviews. This recording features Artur Blythe on alto for the second time, and master Free drummer Rashied Ali, who was John Coltrane's last drummer.

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