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Joey DeFrancesco: Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson (2010)

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Joey DeFrancesco: Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson Track review of "Never Can Say Goodbye"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Cross-pollinating jazz and pop does not always yield fruitful residuals—in many instances, it equates to an unbalanced succession of musical events. Here, however, Hammond-B3 titan Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
b.1971
organ, Hammond B3
renders a happy medium by jazzing up the songbook from the late pop icon Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
1958 - 2009
vocalist
, with jazz, funk and rock stylizations, while retaining its inherent components. DeFrancesco and his band morph grooving jazz improvisation with Jackson's melodic hooks, yet neither genre dominates.

DeFrancesco carves the classic soul-pop ballad, "Never Can Say Goodbye," with sleek undertones abetted by guitarist Paul Bollenback
Paul Bollenback
Paul Bollenback
b.1959
guitar
's slippery funk voicings. The organist succeeds at instilling a soulful element, even when embarking on free-flight and climactic solo jaunts. DeFranceso and Bollenback trade torrid fours during the bridge, while gradually lifting the pitch towards the finale. The leader closes out the piece with silvery chord clusters, consummating one of many nicely orchestrated highlights evidenced throughout this tunefully upbeat program.

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco: Numa organ, Keyb Duo organ, Numa piano, Hammond organ, trumpet; Paul Bollenback: electric guitar, nylon guitar; Byron Landham: drums; Pat Bianchi: keyboards; Carmen Intorre: percussion.

Record Label: HighNote Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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