When jazz aficionados think of Joey DeFrancesco – and they often do – they ponder his matchless talents as a modern-day avatar of the Hammond B3 organ and the Philadelphia history he shares with his principle instrument. Organ-based blues and jazz started in Philly and DeFrancesco is the first to tell you so.
Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco personify the Jazz Organ Renaissance that is sweeping the world in this incredible recording for Concord. Organists have paired up before in recording studios but never in such a historical effort. Unlike Jack and Joey’s last double organ session which was live, this recording offered more artistic control. Concord wisely permitted Jack to put together the charts and gave Joey the bass duties to lessen the load. This album was recorded in New York City, NY, on December 11 & 12, 1995.
Extending the good vibes created out of their first pairing on the live recording Incredible!, organists Joey Defrancesco and Jimmy Smith get down to business on Legacy. The two stellar and funky musicians have a great musical rapport and seem to really enjoy playing together. Fans of Incredible! will most likely find much to enjoy here. The album has a heavy Latin sound with percussionists Ramon Banda and Jose "Joey" de Leon supplying additional timbales and conga rhythms respectively. Also joining in this time around is special guest tenor saxophonist James Moody, who adds his fiery bop chops to "Jones'n for Elvin." Backing Defrancesco and Smith here are bassist Tony Banda, guitarist Paul Bollenback, and drummer Steve Ferrone.
Three-time Grammy nominee, master of the jazz organ, trumpeter and vocalist Joey DeFrancesco swings hard and straight ahead. A prodigious talent at an early age, he joined the Miles Davis band when he was seventeen. At eighteen, he began touring with his own quartet. At twenty-two, John Mclaughlin called him along with drummer Dennis Chambers to form the group “Free Spirits.” Subsequently, Joey worked with greats such as George Benson, James Moody and Ray Charles. He’s won the Downbeat Critics Poll ten times and the Readers Poll every year since 2005. His current trio with Dan Wilson guitar and Jason Brown drums promises to rock the house.
With 40, Joey DeFrancesco—the world's foremost contemporary jazz organist—heralds his fortieth birthday by presiding over a trio session that is typically dexterous and engaging from start to finish. As good as it is, however, a DVD would be even more persuasive, as DeFrancesco's consummate mastery of his chosen instrument should really be seen as well as heard to be thoroughly appreciated. His right hand is so virtuosic that he seldom has need for the left, using it sparingly to append an obligatory chord every now and then. Seeing and hearing DeFrancesco perform is a remarkable experience, one not to be missed.
Marking its 30th anniversary, JazzTimes magazine convened an all-star band to play an energetic and entertaining set of soul jazz. Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Joey DeFrancesco, and guest guitarist Paul Bollenback aptly form this superband, each bringing his unique talents to the musical table. Berg is at his intense, wailing best on the self-composed "Silverado" and groovy, party maker "Friday Night at the Cadillac Club." Brecker is bright and playful on his own "Dirty Dogs" and "Jones Street."