Jeff Palmer & Devin Garramone
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Jeff Palmer & Devin Garramone

New Hartford, New York, United States | INDIE

New Hartford, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Funk


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"Best CDs of 2011"

Listed Under Four-star reviews, Page 53, January 2012 issue, Downbeat Magazine under the name Jeff Palmer for the release titled "Permutation", Rank Records - Downbeat Magazine

"Jazz - CD Reviews"



Rank R 604

1. Dragon
2. Air Play
3. Permutation
4. Destiny
5. Dialog
6. Pancakes
7. The Snake
8. Relentless
9. Champagne
10. Punchie
11. Molecule

Jeff Palmer - Hammond B3 Organ, bass pedals
Devin Garramone - Alto sax
John Fisher - Drums

Organ trios often include a saxophone to spice things up, but it is usually a tenor sax. This organ trio uses an alto-saxist, Devin Garramone, whose ability to reach the higher registers of the instrument reminds me of Ron Aspery, the altoist in Back Door, a short-lived British trio of the 1970s. In fact the interplay which made Back Door so memorable is also a feature of this organ trio. When there are only three of you, interplay and empathy are essential to give the group cohesion. And this trio's jazz-fusion style is similar to Back Door, with strong drums backing up the jazzy organ and sax.

Organist Jeff Palmer, who wrote all the tunes on this album, generally keeps rather subdued here, at least in comparison with some of the more extrovert Hammond B3 exponents. He tends to leave the top line to Garramone - who often ascends into shrieks - or harmonises prettily with him.

There is a certain tendency to sameness in the album, most likely because of the persistent funk drumming but also because many of the numbers are mid-tempo funk burners. A jazz standard played in simple four-four would have made a change. Yet there are plenty of outstandingly individual passages, frequently provided by Devin's sax, which can seem on the edge of avant-garde wildness. However, on a slow number like Destiny, Garramone can moderate his power to be soulfully emotional.

The title-track was recorded live (at least, judging from the enthusiastic applause at the end) and has a swirling, serpentine feel - but then so has Dialog and (unsurprisingly) The Snake. Relentless is a moody but effective solo for the Hammond organ.

Despite the tendencies towards sameness, this is a listenable album, given added spice by the skittish alto sax.

Tony Augarde - MusicWeb International

"Gapplegate Music Review"

wednesday, march 30, 2011
Palmer. Garramone and Fisher's Organ Trio: [Permutation]

Organist Jeff Palmer and his sidekicks Devin Garramone (alto) and John Fisher (drums) demonstrate that to do a good thing in jazz doesn't always involve taking a long leap into the future of music. On Permutation (Rank 604) they take the organ trio format and place it in a contemporary funk-jazz context.

Jeff Palmer plays a compelling modern Hammond style that owes something to Larry Young, Charles Earland and John Medeski in that he has advanced harmonic line development going on within the funky pacemaking that the band convincingly lays down.

Combine Jeff's richly wide attack with Devin Garramone's fiery alto and the deep grooves established by John Fisher, and you have something that grabs you and does not let go until the last track. All eleven tracks were penned by Palmer. They put the groove within a modern context and give you melodies to remember and enjoy.

Organ trio fans who want something up-to-date will do well to listen to this one. It's quite nicely put together! - Grego Applegate Edwards

"Issue #112 Reviews - Rotcod Zzaj"

Jeff Palmer, Devin Garramone, John Fisher – PERMUTATION: When a “true” jazz fan listens to powerful presence like this, it just blows them away… Devin’s stellar alto sax, John’s killer drums & (most especially), Jeff’s superb Hammond B3 work, rock you right from the first fire-breathing bar of the opener, “Dragon“, & the lively “Penetration” will surely have you dancin’ on the edge of your chair! If jazz-based organ work is your thing, you don’t have to look any further than Jeff’s powerful style… this stuff is killer! It doesn’t hurt that these are all originals, which kicks the “EQ” (energy quotient) rating up to near-the-top, at 4.99. There are 11 totally solid cuts here, & each of them has something new to offer your ears… my personal favorite on this outing, though, was the totally down&funky “Punchie“… if you can’t catch the joy here, you’re already six feet under! The only critical thing I’ve got to say is that it would have been really nice to find a YOUTUBE vid of them posted. I give them a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as the “PICK” of this issue for “best organ jazz trio”. Get more information at Rotcod Zzaj - Dick Metcalf

"Jeff Palmer - Permutation"

Jeff Palmer – Permutation

The latest album from iconoclastic organist Jeff Palmer, Permutation, finds the inventive keyboardist in his customary place, -- sitting behind the Hammond B-3 instrument that he has been pushing to astonishing musical heights for more than four decades, but here recording for the first time music that might be considered extraordinary even for this innovator. Long recognized by his peers for his groundbreaking approach to making music on an instrument that has known few developments since coming to the forefront of the popular soul jazz movement pioneered by the great Jimmy Smith, Palmer expanded the harmonic vocabulary of the B3 keyboard and its bass pedals, on a series of albums of original compositions featuring likeminded players such as guitarists, John Abercrombie and John Scofield, saxophonists Arthur Blythe, Vincent Herring, Dave Liebman and Billy Pierce, and drummers Rashied Ali, Victor Lewis and Adam Nussbaum.

Maintaining the swinging Smith influenced blues based sound rooted in his early experiences of playing with George Benson and Grant Green, Palmer’s approach to the Hammond organ - incorporating the Coltrane influenced modal modernizations of Larry Young and the sonic adventurousness unleashed by Miles Davis on Bitches Brew – remains one of the few future oriented ones on the instrument today. As its title suggests, Permutation finds Palmer playing a transformative music that is both fresh and exciting. Joined by two sympathetic colleagues from his upstate New York working unit – alto saxophonist Devin Garramone and drummer John Fisher – the organist presents a new sound that combines the harmonic sophistication of jazz, with the soulful feeling of funk and the unrelenting energy of rock, while remaining true to his perpetual desire to create music that remains true to its blues roots, but always rises above the commonplace.

The eleven original compositions comprising Permutation once again reveal Palmer’s melodic gift, while placing his lyrical lines in a fresh context that is sure to attract new listeners – particularly younger ones with an ear poised to rock and funk. The opening “Dragon” begins on a funky rhythmic note that echoes the southern soul sound R&B of groups like Booker T and MG’s, but quickly moves into a jazz rooted melody reminiscent of the Eddie Harris classic “Freedom Jazz Dance.” Garramone’s scorching strident alto – at times recalling the tone of longtime Palmer foil Arthur Blythe – wildly fires things up here, with Palmer’s organ solo offering a cool respite as Fisher’s inexorable drumming keeps things cooking throughout.

“Airplay” follows with a similarly serpentine melodic line laid down by Garramone’s Maceo Parker influenced alto over Palmer’s bluesy B-3 background and Fisher’s busy funky drumming, leading into the organist’s own showcase, during which he demonstrates his well known mastery of the instrument, moving from earthy soulfulness to atmospheric etherealism and back.

The date’s title track, “Penetration,” is a no holds barred jazz tour de force with an intriguing minor key melody that once again finds Garramone’s acerbic alto recalling the avant funk sound of Blythe, while Palmer’s organ reveals his prominent position in the extension of the Jimmy Smith - Larry Young lineage in his both bluesy accompaniment and Trane-like soloing.

Palmer’s “Destiny” is an appealingly soulful ballad on which the organist clearly reveals the sanctified church pedigree of his instrument. Garramone is more restrained here in his reading of the tender melody and Fisher’s straightforward drumming echoes the measured handclapping of a church congregation on this succinct love poem.

“Dialog,” which opens with the amplified whirring sound of the B3’s Leslie speaker, returns the trio to its forward-looking funky jazz-rock role with its winding melodic line and complex rhythmic patterns. Palmer’s solo is explicit in its “ancient to the future” outlook, blending rudiments of the long-established jazz organ vocabulary with more modernistic elements grown out of Joe Zawinul’s “In A Silent Way” lexicon.

The funkified feel of “Pancakes” is an unabashed reference by Palmer to the “grits and gravy” genre of soul jazz organ trios of the sixties, a time when the unwieldy keyboard found its home in the front rooms of neighborhood bar and grills with up kitchens serving a clientele that liked its music cooking with the same “greasy” flavor as it ribs.

“The Snake” is another intriguing Palmer melody that pairs contrasting melodic/rhythmic elements – an intricate staccato uptempo opening call with a measured dissonant response. Fisher’s cowbell counts out the funky time on this one as Palmer and Garramone dance around each other with fiery abandon.

Palmer’s unaccompanied organ takes on a mournful tone for his “Relentless,” a somber solo outing that nevertheless offers a brief melodic glimpse of optimism, revealing the inexorable spiri - Russ Musto

"Jazz CD Reviews - Jeff Palmer/Devin Garramone/John Fisher – Permutation – Rank Permutation is a soulful funk-fest for devotees of Hammond B-3 organ trios."

Jeff Palmer/Devin Garramone/John Fisher – Permutation – Rank R604, 43:54 ***:

(Jeff Palmer – Hammond B-3 organ, producer; Devin Garramone – alto saxophone; John Fisher – drums)

The dictionary defines permutation as a change or transformation; or as an arrangement of items or rearranging of items in a group. The description could certainly apply to Hammond B-3 organist Jeff Palmer’s raison d’être as well as his new trio outing, Permutation. Palmer has pushed the boundaries of his chosen instrument for more than four decades. While he has never abandoned Jimmy Smith’s influential template, Palmer – like Larry Young or Sam Yahel – has continued to evolve the organ’s language to innovative heights.

Palmer’s work does not consistently appeal to soul-jazz purists who insist the Hammond B-3 remain within the grits and gravy groove. Those who are on the outlook for something that imitates Jack McDuff should probably look elsewhere, although there is plenty of soulful material on Palmer’s all-original, 11-track album.

This time out Palmer reduces his group to a basic trio that features alto saxophonist Devin Garramone and drummer John Fisher: on previous releases Palmer utilized guitar, most notably John Abercrombie’s sympathetic assistance. While Abercrombie is surely missed, Garramone is given maximum space for his rich tones, harmonic flair and improvisational diversity.

Funk fans will appreciate the straightforward and upbeat opener, “Dragon,” which echoes the Southern charms of soul ensembles such as Booker T. and the MGs, although Garramone’s enthusiastic alto vibe nods to Eddie Harris’ bluesy quality. “Airplay” follows a similar framework, complemented by Fisher’s in-the-pocket drumming. However, by the time “Penetration” arrives, a feeling of duplication starts to settle in. It is not that the band sits back, but the melody and arrangement seem too comparable to the preceding pieces.

Fortunately Palmer frees up his adventurous side on the slightly jazz-rocking “Dialog” – which begins and ends with the amplified whirring of Palmer’s Leslie speaker – and traverses into a revamped version of the stalwart jazz organ blueprint. Garramone lays out imaginative solos but another voice – perhaps a guitar – would have added some valid dynamics. On the surface, “The Snake” appears to be another unassuming funk vehicle but closer inspection reveals expressive contrasts between melody and harmony elements. The way Palmer and Garramone shift around each other is also intriguing.

Unlike some of Palmer’s earlier efforts that had moody and dark aspects, Permutation is frequently spirited, extroverted and swinging. It is obvious Palmer wanted to advance a pulsing beat and a good time with accessibility at the forefront. Despite the album cover’s spacey Sun Ra-esque artwork, there are no unconventional components. On the other hand, there is a discernible degree of uniformity to the tunes that may turn off some people. Nonetheless the music generally holds interest and is rather agreeable.

1. Dragon
2. Air Play
3. Permutation
4. Destiny
5. Dialog
6. Pancakes
7. The Snake
8. Relentless
9. Champagne
10. Punchie
11. Molecule

-- Doug Simpson - Audiophile Edition

"Los Angeles Jazz Scene - CD Reviews March 2011"

Jeff Palmer
(Rank Records)

The history of the jazz organ can easily be divided into two periods: before and after Jimmy Smith. Smith defined not only the way that the Hammond B-3 organ is played but the way it sounds. Only a handful of organists who have arrived on the scene since 1956 (when Smith hit New York) have succeeded in establishing their own musical identity, most notably Larry Young.

Jeff Palmer is in that select category. Since the mid-1980s, he has developed his own electronic sound and funky style. Permutation is a particularly infectious yet unpredictable release. Palmer is teamed with altoist Devin Garramone and drummer John Fisher on 11 of the organist's originals.

While the individual songs generally do not have melodies that stick in one's mind after the CD is over, the catchy rhythms and heated grooves are memorable. Palmer displays his ability to be consistently creative even on the simpler tunes and he never runs short of fresh ideas. Garramone's intense and passionate style fits in well, and he wails in a style that is open to the influences of both avant-garde jazz and r&b while creating dynamic and occasionally overheated post bop solos. Drummer Fisher keeps the momentum going throughout each of the pieces.

The music on Permutation does not really need analysis for it is very easy to enjoy, and gives further evidence as to Jeff Palmer's originality. It is easily recommended and available from

Scott Yanow, Los Angeles Jazz Scene
- Scott Yanow

"Featured Artist: Jeff Palmer, [Devin] Garramone, [Justin] Battle"

CD Title: Mayhem

Year: 2009

Record Label: Rank Records

Style: Progressive

Musicians: Jeff Palmer (Hammond B-3 Organ, bass pedals), Devin Garramone (alto saxophone), Justin Battle (drums)


Jeff Palmer and [Devin] Garramone have previously recorded with some of the greats - John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis, Adam Nussbaum - and Palmer has played with John Scofield, Grant Green and George Benson.

Apparently Mayhem is a new direction for him. All the compositions are his. Its style is very '90s - 2000s, while my taste hovers more around the '40s - '60's (think Gene Ammons, Cannonball, Horace Silver). But that said, I liked this high-spirited, energetic, inventive music. Categorizing Mayhem is difficult. Funk is pervasive but there are elements of free jazz and soul jazz. While the content is far from mainstream, the form often follows the traditional intro-melody-solos-melody format. The adept combination of styles is one of this album's greatest strengths. Devin Garramone often starts off with sax leads that sound like exercises, but hip, burning exercises. Jeff Palmer's organ is usually supportive but understated until his solos erupt. Justin Battle lays down the funk throughout, with a brief solo on "Ropadope". I dare anyone to keep their body still during this music. With chops galore, he makes the long, flowing lines he pushes out there sound effortless. He sounds like a man on a mission. The trio sounds very organic, a unit that works great together. Occasionally some unexpected sound emerges - crowd noise, vocalization, sound effects, distortion. So, any downsides to Mayhem? The sax especially is full throttle (loud) all the way. After a while there's also a certain sameness to the different tracks. But overall, Mayhem is well worth a listen.

Tracks: E Gore, Dr. Needle, Mongol, Ropadope, Enzyme I-II, Shineola, Oil and Vinegar, Bullet

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Artist's Website:

Reviewed by: Bob Jacobson -

"Midwest Record, Entertainment reviews, news and views"

PALMER GARRAMONE FISHER/Permutation: Organ trio led by a vet that likes to keep things on the sonically adventurous side. With a heavy dose of freak out music running through it, the crew does a scaled down "Bitches Brew" vibe that let's the funk fly in old skool, street style. Certainly left leaning jazz, it's angularity is sure to chase away the squares. - Chris Spector

"New Organ-ic Voices"

While some contemporary musicians keep the unwieldy Hammond B-3 relevant, the repertoire often sounds like the heyday of Jimmy Smith, along with the same old adjectives: "soulful", "greasy", "bluesy", "churchy", "funky." Yet the organ combo remains as durable as the stately big band, and new voices are present and always welcome.

Organ player Jeff Palmer is the rare downtown (or experimental) player on a largely uptown scene. Permutation (Rank R604; 44:02 [4 stars]), his 17th under-the-radar release, bridges this gap. Backed by Palmer's working band, the album features blues riffs galore; most of the tracks fall between roughly two to four minutes. Alto saxophonist Devin Garramone's free form flights often climax in the altissimo register. Drummer John Fisher creates a dense pocket, lots of bashing and splashy cymbals. The set's off-kilter sensibilities make up for its lack of variety. The tracks include unusual sounds such as an alarm clock, children's voices, or just weird organ effects. The highlights include a live-recording of "Penetration" and the exuberant "Pancakes". But there isn't a weak track.

-Eric Fine, DownBeat magazine March 2011, p.58 - DownBeat Magazine


Permutation (2011) Jeff Palmer, Devin Garramone, Jon Fisher
Mayhem (2009) Jeff Palmer, Devin Garramone, Justin Battle
Lovebirds (2005) Jeff Palmer, Devin Garramone, John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis
Nite Blues (2004) Jeff Palmer, John Abercrombie, Devin Garramone, Adam Nussbaum
Burn'in the Blues (2001) Jeff Palmer, John Abercrombie, Vincent Herring, Bob Leto
Island Universe (1995) Jeff Palmer, John Abercrombie, Arthur Blythe, Rashied Ali
Shades of the Pine (1994) Jeff Palmer, Billy Pierce, John Abercrombie, Marvin "Smitty" Smith
Ease On (1993) Jeff Palmer, John Abercrombie, Arthur Blythe, Victor Lewis
Abracadabra (1990) Jeff Palmer, David Liebman, John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum
Laser Wizzard (1987) Jeff Palmer Grammy Nomination



Jeff Palmer – Hammond B3 Organ, Bass Pedals; Devin Garramone – Saxophone

Jeff Palmer was born in Jackson Heights, NY in the late 1940's. Jeff, like his father, became a musician, and at the age of 4, began study of the accordion. By his 15th birthday he was immersed in the study of the Hammond B3 Organ. Since that time Jeff has forged a sound of his own combining the elements of blues, jazz, funk, classical, and avant-garde. He has recorded or played with a conclave of jazz-masters including John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis, Adam Nussbaum, Dave Liebman, Marvin “Smitty “ Smith, Rashied Ali, Gary Campbell, Arthur Blythe, Grant Green, Eddie Harris, George Benson…. He has a growing discography consisting of 17 releases featuring some of the aforementioned musicians. He has toured Europe and Japan and was nominated for a Grammy in the 80’s with the release of Laser Wizzard. His latest recording as a leader, Permutation (R604-Rank Records), was rated four stars in the March 2011 issue of Down Beat magazine, calling Jeff “the rare downtown (or experimental) player on a largely uptown scene.” Jeff continues on a path of reinvention of the organ, and music in general, while composing funky and swinging, off-kilter, musical forms that rouse crowds and cause dancing.

Devin Garramone was born in Utica, New York in the early 1970's. Devin began the study of music in elementary school. After attempts at the piano, trombone and tuba, Devin took up the saxophone at the age of 11. As a teenager, he studied music under the instruction of saxophonist, J.R. Monterose, who also was raised in the city of Utica. In the early 1990’s, Devin met Jeff Palmer at a gig he was playing in Albany, NY with Monterose, after which they went their separate ways. In 2004, Palmer and Garramone collaborated, and have since produced four releases on the Rank Records label, based in Upstate New York. On their latest release, Permutation, Devin approaches the music with a reckless abandon that stokes the fire with strident, acerbic bursts of blues, screams and atonalism.