436

Joey DeFrancesco: Joey D!

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Joey DeFrancesco: Joey D! Joey DeFrancesco, who has graduated from heir-apparent to undisputed king among contemporary jazz organists, is in his element here, presiding over a trio comprised of himself, undervalued tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon and reliable drummer Byron Landham. Rest assured DeFrancesco's nimble fingers are as virtuosic as ever, and there's no need to fret about the slender rhythm section, as DeFrancesco happily provides his own.

DeFrancesco is perfectly at ease and in control even though recording for the first time on a new Diversi DV-Duo Plus drawbar organ with "modified sound engine and modeling technology." It comes alive, as one would expect, in DeFrancesco's proficient hands, and he is squarely on his game regardless of mood or tempo. The same can be said of Weldon, an unapologetic bopper whose hard-edged tenor complements superbly the leader's more even-tempered moments. Landham, DeFrancesco's longtime companion and helpmate, is ideally cast in the role of rhythmic navigator.

DeFrancesco's choice of music is exemplary, from Miles Davis' meteoric curtain-raiser, "Dig," to the heated finale, Gene Ammons' impulsive "Blues Up and Down" (which underlines the Dexter Gordon ascendancy in Weldon's arsenal). The trio even manages to make "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" seem fresh and engaging. Completing the prismatic program are J.J. Johnson's plaintive "Lament" and the tasteful standards "If Ever I Should Lose You," "Besame Mucho," "Come Dance with Me" and "Nancy (with the Laughing Face)," the last two associated with Frank Sinatra.

This is high-quality straight-ahead contemporary jazz, a worthy successor to splendid organ trios led in years past by such giants as Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson and others. DeFrancesco is the monarch now, and if Joey D! is any signpost, he harbors no desire to abdicate.


Track Listing: Dig; Lament; Take Me Out to the Ball Game; If Ever I Should Leave You; Besame Mucho; Come Dance with Me; Nancy (with the Laughing Face); Blues Up and Down.

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco: organ; Jerry Weldon: tenor saxophone; Byron Landham: drums.

Title: Joey D! | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: HighNote Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Ask Seek Knock" CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Mu" CD/LP/Track Review Mu
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 30, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.