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Ron Feuer: Vital Organ

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Ron Feuer
Organist Ron Feuer recorded just one jazz leadership album—Vital Organ, in 1959. It also happened to be his first album. The date for Bob Keane's Del-Fi label featured Frank Rosolino (tb), Bill Perkins (ts), Ron Feuer (org), Paul Moer (p), Jimmy Bond (b) and Frank Butler and Bill Higgins (d). Feuer was just 20 at the time and displayed an unusual technique and swirling soul.

The songs are Too Close for Comfort, Smile, September Song (on which Feuer plays piano and organ), Heather on the Hill, Lullaby in Rhythm, I'll Remember April, I Love All of You, Robin's Next, The Best Think for Me Is You and Why Don't You Do Right. At some point, the album was renamed Hammond'Cheese—as in ham an' cheese.

The original album cover did not feature Feuer's name. It simply said Vital Organ: Murder at the Keyboard. On the back, a line said, “It Only Hurts When You Listen." The first line of the liner notes cleared up the mystery: Actually' we've just been kidding to attract your attention."

Feuer went on to become a first-call pianist, keyboardist, organist, composer, arranger and producer. He spent many years in Las Vegas where he became the keyboardist for many house bands and acts. While in Vegas, he played live performances and on the recordings of  hundreds of performing artists, including Diana Ross, Elvis Presley and Gladys Knight. He also teamed with James Moody, Frank Rosolino, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Ernie Watts and Abraham Laboriel.

What set Feuer's organ apart is his enormous attack and whirlwind feel. Every song is a gutsy adventure, which excites the ear.

JazzWax tracks: Sadly, Ron Feuer's Vital Organ and Hammond'Cheese are both out of print and never seemed to have made into the digital era.

JazzWax clip: Here's Ron Feuer's Why Don't You Do Right...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

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