Joey DeFrancesco: Plays Sinatra His Way (2004)
In the company of Houston Person (who led DeFrancesco to the Muse label many years ago), guitarist Melvin Sparks, and longtime drummer Byron Landham, our leading man delivers nine selections that all clock in at around the five to six minute length. With its clever opening vamp, “Pennies From Heaven” finds DeFrancesco at his boppish best, with Sparks weighing in with his own juicy chords in support (as well as a solo that includes a clever “shave and a hair cut” quote to boot). At the start of his career I happened to interview Joey and he commented on how much he dug the bass lines of Groove Holmes. That he’s developed his own way with those foot pedals is clear on this performance alone.
There’s really no need to analyze each individual track here, as anyone even remotely familiar with DeFrancesco will be aware of his mastery of the mighty B-3. Van Gelder’s sound job brings Joey and the guys right into your living room. This no frills affair may be short on the revolutionary, but it will surely please fans of DeFrancesco, Person, and Sparks.
Track Listing: I Get a Kick Out Of You, Teach Me Tonight, Pennies From Heaven, What's New, Witchcraft, What Now My Love, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Falling In Love With Love, Angel Eyes
Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco (organ), Houston Person (tenor sax), Melvin Sparks (guitar), Byron Landham (drums)