But look at it now: The instrument has attracted young players all over the globe, and they’re burning it up. And Hazelton began applying the skills he already had to the organ’s keys and pedals: “It was finally a matter of combining my piano and bass theories into one instrument.” Studying with De Van, he says, “was more an apprenticeship than anything.Around Kansas City, few are more into it than Chris Hazelton, who sounds like a veteran B3 burner at the age of 31. He would have me come to gigs and sit in, kind of a baptism by fire.Hazelton usually mans the keys and pedals at the Green Lady Lounge at least twice a week, in small groups and in his brash, horn- and percussion-driven Boogaloo 7. If he wasn’t available or had double-booked himself, he’d plug me into things he thought I could handle.” The apprenticeship lasted about a year.Then Hazelton began taking some gigs of his own, forming a group called Grandpa’s Cough Syrup.And he’s adding to that by running a small record label to promote his own music and the music of some friends.Sunflower Soul Records tends to do things the old-fashioned way — analog recording, spring reverb and tube amplifiers — “the way this music was meant to be heard,” he says.Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 (with Rowland, Howell, baritone saxophonist Brett Jackson, guitarist Matt Hopper, drummer Danny Rojas and percussionist Pat Conway) has been a Green Lady fixture for nearly three years and continues to rule Friday nights there.
Then Green Lady Lounge honcho John Scott, a big supporter of organ jazz, caught the band and offered it a residency.See Hazelton at the Green Lady, 1809 Grand Blvd., in his Chris Hazelton Quartet at 9 p.m Thursday and in the Green Lady’s downstairs Orion Room at 9 p.m. Thirty years ago, jazz on the Hammond B3 organ seemed to be on the way out. 21.) After a few weeks of haunting De Van’s gigs, Hazelton convinced De Van to invite him over for a lesson.“I had shopped it to a few other labels but decided, you know what, I’m just going to do it on my own.” He plans for Sunflower Soul to release two more titles in early 2017.“I’ve got one 7-inch at the press right now that is a collaboration with a band from Oakland called The M-Tet,” he said.“There’s a whole list of heavyweight musicians in this town,” said Hazelton.