Moses Tyson, Jr. Biography

Hammond B-3 organs are a difficult tool to master, but few have done it as gracefully as organist Moses Tyson Jr. As the son of a pastor in Vallejo, CA, he grew up with gospel music surrounding him. His mother, a pianist herself, helped Tyson with his first guitar at a young age, but Tyson's insistence on learning the organ led him to pick up the instrument at age 12. Tyson later recalled that girls motivated him to play the organ when he noticed his church organ players getting attention from the ladies in the congregation. Learning how to play by ear with only a minimal amount of formal training, he was also heavily influenced by his cousin, funk superstar Sly Stone. Stone helped him develop a distinct charisma with his playing, while other influences like Billy Preston and Rev. Timothy Wright became some of his earliest employers when he began playing with other musicians. Since then, Tyson performed and recorded with countless gospel, soul, funk, R&B, and inspirational artists with his nimble fingers and organic tones. By the 1990s, Tyson's hard work and reputation helped him score a job as an executive at Bellmark Records. It was there that he began to work on the business end of the industry, eventually putting together his own albums and setting up his own independent label, World Class Gospel, on the side. After seeing this side of the industry, he left it to return to full-time performance. The first example of this was Music, a 1999 release that offered instrumental renditions of several popular Christian spirituals and hymns. Three years later, Music 2 delivered more funky renditions of gospel tracks with a charismatic edge. ~ Bradley Torreano, Rovi

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