Remembering Eddie Jefferson (2002)
Introducing Eddie Landsberg...
Eddie Landsberg's maiden voyage into the annals of Jazz Organ swings with tradition and bravado! He truly represents a new breed of Jazz organist drenched in tradition and fully aware from whence he has come.
Eddie has studied the musical stylings of Wild Bill Davis, the true architect of the left hand and left food bass technique and Godfather to the Organ Combo. He made it a point early in his music studies to seek out the players of Bill Davis' generation and learn from these old organ grinders, some who still limp soulfully around the City of Brotherly Love. The result of this has been a swinging and rock-solid approach to the Jazz Organ for young Eddie... One that he feels is his and his alone in this growing microcosm of highly technical Jazz Organists.
Eddie was born in Philadelphia, PA on 10/02/71. That alone seems to lend credence to his position in the ever growing ranks of newer Jazz Organists.
As a youngster, Eddie dreamed of entertaining others. He contrived scenes; scripted routines; and generally thought of acts and choreography that would live out his childhood fantasies as an entertainer. Using key performers as his models, Eddie began creating scenarios in which he paid tribute to legendary Jazz figures.... particularly those he felt were under-recognized by the general populous. There in lies the genesis of this homage to the great Eddie Jefferson.
After going back-and-forth with numerous ideas for a fresh and different approach to recording Jazz Organ, Eddie put together the most simple and obvious of ingredients: the dreams of his youth...
"I was twelve years old when I first started listening to Jazz and one of the first artists I discovered was Eddie Jefferson. I heard this music and it had this effect on me. I went to the public library and found Eddie Jefferson's 'The Main Man' and I took it home and listened to it... suddenly I wanted to be Eddie Jefferson... until I learned I couldn't sing!"
All along, Eddie's parents encouraged him to play the piano... "I started out on the piano, but it wasn't until I discovered the Hammond that things really began to open up for me. That's where I am today."
Within this comfort zone provided by the Hammond organ, Eddie began to learn the instrument based on what the past masters had left him. He searched the parameters of his dream in preparation for this recording project. "I needed som kind of concept to bring it to life and I needed the right players," Eddie remembers...
When I first met Eddie, he asked me things about the Jazz Organ that few others would ask... he probed for answers that only those deeply entrenched in a musical subculture would want to know. Eddie dared to enter a realm of music that has traditionally been neglected. He stood up as a representative from his generation honoring a bygone era... posed for future recognition.
Eddie had already approached the inimitable Shirley Scott for tutelage and showed me his true grit in this personal pursuit for knowledge. I quickly recommended that he get with Big John Patton who was living near his Philadelphia home in somewhat of a searching stage himself trying to resurrect his once magnificent Jazz organ aura. As it turned out, the two musical minds became mutual friends. Eddie's passion began to take real form under John[s guidance and his enthusiasm and energy began to take hold of him. Never have I met a young musician as interested in the Jazz Organ idiom as Eddie Landsberg. His curiosity has been supported through his formative years with an absolute gift, being blessed from the outset with musical intelligence and intuition. Combining this new knowledge with his own sensibilities has become his formula for the development of his success.
"I practice all night... my life and love is the organ," says Eddie.
Understanding music and how it works to achieve this effect we call Jazz Organ has come easy to Eddie. He was quick to pick up bass lines and seemed to easily understand how chords should be juxtaposed. Eddie's approach to Jazz Organ has been comprehensive. His ability to synthesize the knowledge he gained from the streets with more academic knowledge has left him riding the new wave of organ Jazz.
So within the comfort zone provided by the Hammond Organ and his incessant desire to learn the instrument, Eddie has searched the parameters of his dream for the best possible way to present himself. Combining his music with a tribute to the Godfather of Vocalese will undoubtedly open up new territory for those organists who follow.
Eddie has successfully accomplished many thing in his young career with the release of 'Remembering Eddie Jefferson'. As he stated, "I wanted an album that was real and listenable at the same time... a timeless session... one that wasn't just a blowing session, but instead told a story, and was fun to listen to as well..."
Dig deeply into this music and know that it has a purpose... and more importantly, the fulfillment of a dream.
Pete Fallico KUSP, Santa Cruz, KCSM, San Mateo
REMEMBERING EDDIE JEFFERSON is available at CDBABY.COM, Amazon.com on iTunes and elsewhere on the web.