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Mort Weiss: The B3 and Me and Organic Vibes

Andrew Velez By

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Mort Weiss
The B3 and Me
SMS Jazz

Joey DeFrancesco
Organic Vibes

For those listeners who regret the scarcity of the clarinet as a jazz presence these days, this session, The B3 and Me, is especially welcome. Weiss demonstrates just how syntonically the clarinet and Hammond B3 can groove, especially when it's Joey DeFrancesco zooming along on the keyboard. Weiss' clarinet bops in on "Ornithology for a few fine toots before DeFrancesco thunders in.

Most of the tunes are American Songbook classics, from a bouncy "I Thought About You to a dreamy spin around the floor with "Love Letters . Weiss' piquant wailing on the latter is especially warmly bracketed by DeFrancesco's night sounds. Tagged perfectly by Byron Landham (drums) and guitarist Craig Ebner adding some filigrees, notably on the Charlie Parker classic, they season a session that's upbeat fun.

Organic Vibes reunites DeFrancesco with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, with whom he played a few years ago. It's a happy occasion that's further stoked by the heat of George Coleman's tenor sax. DeFrancesco just flies over the keys on "The Tackle , one of several of his own compositions included in this set. He's in top form here with a full-bodied sound that's as rich as it is light.

The cut crystal of Hutcherson's vibes is wrapped in a dark velvety sound by DeFrancesco on that old Van Heusen-Mercer gem "I Thought About You . It makes for one of those compelling moments when instrumentalists are so eloquent with sound that you'd swear you're hearing the words, a special and rare kind of alchemy.

Tracks and Personnel

The B3 and Me

Tracks: Ornithology; I Thought About You; Falling In Love With Love; Love Letters; Billy's Bounce; Autumn Leaves; Yesterdays; You Stepped Out Of A Dream; Fools Rush In.

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco: Hammond B3; Craig Ebner: guitar; Byron Landman: drums; Mort Weiss: clarinet.

Organic Vibes

Tracks: The Tackle; Little B's Poem; I Thought About You; Somewhere In The Night; Down the Hatch; Speak Low; JeNeane's Dream; My Foolish Heart; Colleen.

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco: Jimmy Smith's 1959 Hammond B-3 organ; Bobby Hutcherson: vibes; Ron Blake: tenor and soprano saxophones & flute; George Coleman: tenor saxophone,(Somewhere In The Night and Speak Low), Jake Langley: guitar; Byron Landham: drums.


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