Joey DeFrancesco: Goodfellas (1999)
(Whistling "Speak Softly Love")
Recognize that tune? Of course you do! It’s the theme from The Godf-
Okay- so maybe this type of intro doesn’t work so well in print. But one thing which does work is this album!
No plaintive strings or weeping accordion. No way. This is jazz. Jazz that swings like DiMaggio and pops like a Tommy gun.
Combining the formidable Hammond chops (did someone say "chops"?) of Mr. DeFrancesco with the scatty strums of Frank Vignola and the brushy rhtyhms of his recurrent band mate Joe Ascione (who also wrote all of the original tunes on the album), Goodfellas is a family album with plenty to go around. The tortellini-ed trio’s turn on "Volare" is beyond lounge and their burbly Basie-based "Fly Me To The Moon" is stellar. Other covers include a lush romantic twirl through Sammy Cahn’s "All The Way," a tender "Young At Heart" and a sleepy "O Solo Mio" that would make Luciano sweat out a dance. Ascione sets the beat for a surfy rhumba of "Malafemmena" while his paisanos pitch in with churning strings and stuttering keys. DeFrancesco even takes a shot at Monk’s "Evidence." In an effort to give the drummer some, Ascione is given the role of capo for his arpeggiated explanation "Ya See What I’m Sayin’?" and his reprised swinger "Whack ‘Em" (paired the second time around with thte traditional "Tarantella"). However, like any good family, his boys are never far behind.
So don’t be a wiseguy. Go hear the Goodfellas. It’s an album you can’t re- nevermind!
Track Listing: 1. Speak Softly Love 2. Volare 3. Fly Me to the Moon 4. All the Way 5. Whack 'Em 6. Mala Femmena 7. Young at Heart 8. O Solo Mio 9. Evidence 10. Goodfellas 11. Ya See What I'm Sayin? 12. Whack 'Em [Reprise]/Tarentella