194

Steve Wilkerson and Joey DeFrancesco: It's a Blues Sorta Thing

By

Sign in to view read count
P> It's a Blues Sorta Thing is in the tradition of saxophone/organ combination whose practitioners have included the likes of Wild Bill Davis and Johnny Hodges, Gene Ammons and Brother Jack McDuff, Ben Webster and Groove Holmes. The adventurous, imaginative players on this album take the basic 12 bar blues and extend, expand, twist and put it through a wringer providing more than an hour of funky, swinging and sometimes sweet sounding music. Over dubbing of the sax parts andtheir ability to create a larger than life sound makes the group seem larger than it actually is. More often than not, given the enormity of the organ's voice, it tends to dominate. Not here. Steve Wilkerson's saxophones, Ron Eschete's guitar and James Gadson's drums hold their own with Joey De Francesco's Hammond B-3.

This is a "take no prisoners" album, everything hangs out. From Wilkerson's "The Chancellor" through the closing number, "Panini", another Wilkerson composition, all blues forms are dissected. On "Red Top" Wilkerson's sax is a mixture of the hard blowing of a Tony Pastor and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. In contrast, he turns tender (but tenderness with a bite) on the Errol Garner classic "Misty" as Plas Johnson comes to mind. Wilkerson also recalls a few bars from "Swanee River" along the way. Gadson puts down his drum sticks to sing "Everyday I Have the Blues", the blues anthem made famous by Joe Williams. The blues get a modern treatment on Nat Adderley's "Work Song" where Wilkerson's probing, hard driving sax is complemented by De Francesco's intense Hammond B-3 rumblings. But the highlight of the album for me is "Georgia on My Mind". There's some heavy gospel like "signifyin" going on here as Wilkerson spends time playing above the melody while Joe DeFrancesco's God-fearing organ is casting down fervent hallelujahs. This tune is also the stage for Ron Eschete to show off his awesome guitar technique. The whole affair is punctuated with a fun laden, tongue-in-cheek "Panini", Steve Wilkerson's variations on "Tequila". The album is highly recommended.

Tracks:The Chancellor; Red Top; Misty; It's You or No One; Everyday (I Have the Blues)*; The Work Song; It's a Blues Sorta Thing; Georgia on My Mind; Panini Intro; Panini

Personnel: Steve Wilkerson - Saxophones; Joey DeFrancesco - Hammond B-3 Organ; Ron Eschete - Guitar; James Gadson - Drums/Vocal*

| Record Label: Dne | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Brian Bromberg" CD/LP/Track Review Brian Bromberg
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Sign of the Crow" CD/LP/Track Review Sign of the Crow
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!