The Block
Organissimo, organ jazz

Organissimo, organ jazz

Saturday, October 6th, 7:30 pm

Doors and bar open at 7 pm

$25 and up

$10 student tickets

Buy Tickets

Organissimo is a jazz organ trio with a unique sound which combines jazz, blues, funk, soul and Latin music—and they have serious chops. Frontlining the mighty Hammond B3 organ, organissimo’s sound is instantly identifiable yet constantly evolving. Shifting meters, deep grooves, melodic finesse and tight ensemble interplay are its hallmarks. The Michigan-based group includes Lansing native Jim Alfredson on organ, Larry Barris of Detroit on guitar, and Randy Marsh of Grand Rapids on drums.

Coupled with the glorious Leslie rotary speaker, the B3 sings, purrs, snarls and screams. It weighs almost 450 pounds, and requires external Leslie speakers, famous for slow-fast rotating horns inside the cabinet—another 150 pounds or so. You actually have to oil the Hammond, and when you turn it on it sounds like you’re revving up a small car. But nothing can replace that authentic B3 sound, and so it made a comeback starting in the ‘90s with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco and others. Organissimo is a trio of organ, guitar and drums. What, no bass player? No need! B3s have a full-length foot pedalboard, like those of the pipe organ, and so many B3 players, including Jim Alfredson, provide their own bass line, usually with a combination of feet and left hand.

JIM ALFREDSON
Jim Alfredson (Lansing, MI) comes from a musical family. His father earned a living as a professional musician for many years and encouraged Jim's talents from a very young age. Some of Jim's earliest memories include pulling on the drawbars of his father's Hammond B3 at the age of four.

Jim began writing his own songs at the age of eight on a Yamaha organ. A score of synthesizers and multitrack machines followed until he came full circle at sixteen and began lusting after the sound of the Hammond organ once again. Jim has immersed himself in the study of the mighty Hammond B3 ever since, dedicated to uncovering new directions within the deep tradition of the instrument.

For 10 years, Jim served as organist and musical director of the highly successful, award-winning rhythm & blues band Root Doctor (1999 - 2009).

In 2010, Jim joined the touring band for blues singer Janiva Magness. He is on the road most of the year with that band, touring all over the world. He is featured on Ms. Magness' latest Alligator Records release "Stronger For It".

When he's not on the road, Jim lives with his beautiful wife Alison in Lansing, MI. Besides practicing, listening, and performing music, Jim enjoys cooking, home improvement, and spending time with his daughters Zora, Stella, & Scarlett. Jim is also a piano tuner / technician in the Lansing area.

Jim is a Hammond-Suzuki endorsed artist and plays the Hammond XK-3 with the full XK System and the Leslie 3300 on most organissimo gigs. After years of lugging around a real B3, Jim applauds the new Hammond organs not only as back-savers, but extremely flexable instruments that still retain the classic Hammond tonewheel sound. For his shows with Janiva Magness, Jim is using the Hammond SK2.

Jim is also endorsed by Casio and uses their wonderful line of Privia digital pianos on the road with Janiva and organissimo, as well as in his home studio.

And Jim is endorsed by Neo Instruments, makers of the Ventilator rotary speaker simulator. Read his review of the unit here.

In 2009 Jim released a very limited edition solo CD dedicated to the memory of his father called In Memorandom.

LARRY BARRIS
Larry Barris (Detroit, MI) started playing guitar at a very young age. By the age of 13, he was already working professionally in and around Detroit with "The Black Nasty," a well known local R&B band of the era.

Larry quickly made a name for himself among the chitlin circuit, playing behind commedians such as Rudy Ray Moore and Redd Foxx.

It wasn't long before Larry started working with a "who's who" of Detroit Jazz heavy weights, including Marcus Belgrave,Teddy Harris, Donald Walden, Dennis Rowland, Wendell Harrison, Bobby Wright and Rod Lumpkin. He also performed with national artists as they passed through Detroit, such as George Benson, Mary Wilson &The Supremes, Ben E. King, The 5th Dimension, George Burns, Joan Rivers, Earl Klugh, Joe Sample, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Jack McDuff, Dave McMurray, Fabian, Little Anthony & the Imperials, David Ruffin, and Eddie Kendricks, among others.

In 2001, Larry released his eponymous first CD, followed in 2003 by the release of his second CD, "Love On Me". Larry officially joined organissimo in December of 2012.

RANDY MARSH
Randy Marsh (Grand Rapids, MI) is known throughout the state of Michigan as the drummer of choice. His resume is distinguised and long but he has never rested on his well-deserved laurels. With organissimo, Randy has found another outlet for his experience, his endless creativity, and his positive spirituality.

Randy comes from a musical family as well. His father, Arno Marsh, played tenor in Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, Stan Kenton's big band, Lionel Hampton's big band, Maynard Ferguson's big band, and with musicians such as Buddy Rich and Sammy Davis Jr. among many, many others. And he is still a staple of the Las Vegas big band scene after over 50 years. But Randy credits his mother, Grand Rapids jazz singer Mary Lou Marsh, for giving him a deep love of music and especially jazz.

Randy has been drumming for almost 40 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, he is at the peak of his playing with organissimo, bringing fire and intensity as well as his trademark sense of humor. Like his hero Art Blakey, Randy's drumming is truly one of kind.

If he's not behind the drums, chances are Randy is out biking the trails and kayaking the rivers in the wilds of Michigan.

Organissimo, organ jazz

Organissimo, organ jazz

Saturday, October 6th, 7:30 pm

Doors and bar open at 7 pm

$25 and up

$10 student tickets

About

Organissimo is a jazz organ trio with a unique sound which combines jazz, blues, funk, soul and Latin music—and they have serious chops. Frontlining the mighty Hammond B3 organ, organissimo’s sound is instantly identifiable yet constantly evolving. Shifting meters, deep grooves, melodic finesse and tight ensemble interplay are its hallmarks. The Michigan-based group includes Lansing native Jim Alfredson on organ, Larry Barris of Detroit on guitar, and Randy Marsh of Grand Rapids on drums.

Coupled with the glorious Leslie rotary speaker, the B3 sings, purrs, snarls and screams. It weighs almost 450 pounds, and requires external Leslie speakers, famous for slow-fast rotating horns inside the cabinet—another 150 pounds or so. You actually have to oil the Hammond, and when you turn it on it sounds like you’re revving up a small car. But nothing can replace that authentic B3 sound, and so it made a comeback starting in the ‘90s with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco and others. Organissimo is a trio of organ, guitar and drums. What, no bass player? No need! B3s have a full-length foot pedalboard, like those of the pipe organ, and so many B3 players, including Jim Alfredson, provide their own bass line, usually with a combination of feet and left hand.