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Joey DeFrancesco: Incredible!

Jim Santella By

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He’s not yet 30, but Joey DeFrancesco earned his veteran stripes a long time ago. His B-3 performance on this latest Incredible! album ranges from hot and heavy to cool and lyrical. The organist drives Dizzy Gillespie’s "The Champ" and Charlie Parker’s favored "Indiana" into the streets with exciting solos from his working band: Paul Bollenback and Byron Landham. Bebop from a leader who learned it from his father in Philadelphia. DeFrancesco’s ballads remind me of Erroll Garner with his lyrical approach. He turns melodramatic on "The Good Life" and "When You’re Smiling" to express with vocal-like feelings.

Recorded live and in concert October 28, 1999 at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, the session features extended tracks that allow room for DeFrancesco’s kind of stretching out. The sound is quite clear, and the audience reaction seems refreshing. With his own guitarist and drummer, Jimmy Smith joins the younger organist for two impromptu medleys. Heard from separate right and left channels, the pair converse and comp for one another. They end up with a blazing "St. Thomas" that excites both the "live" audience and the extended listening audience. The master and the young lion make quite a remarkable team.

Track Listing: The Champ; When You

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith- Hammond B-3 organ; Paul Bollenback, Phil Upchurch- guitar; Byron Landham, Frank Wilson- drums.

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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