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Joey DeFrancesco / Robi Botos / Vito Rezza / Phil Dwyer: One Take, Volume Four

Edward Blanco By

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In 2003, Toronto-based musician/producer Peter Cardinali birthed the idea of assembling a group of jazz musicians at the very top of their game and letting them jam in the studio—rolling the tape with no rehearsals, no overdubs and no edits—essentially recording their music in one take. One Take, Volume Four is the fourth album in a series featuring organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Vito Rezza—both members of the first One Take series—joined, this time, by pianist Robi Botos and tenor saxophonist Phil Dwyer,veterans of the Volume Two recording.

Like all seasoned jazz musicians, the quartet draws upon its vast knowledge of the genre in choosing what tunes to play. It was spontaneous, as the Hammond B3 specialist declares: "We just picked some fun tunes to play that everyone could improvise on." The six-piece repertoire—performed here for the very first time by a group of players who had not played together before—consists of jazz standards familiar to everyone.

The unplanned studio session opens with the Isham Jones/Marty Symes standard "There Is No Greater Love," which begins with a vocal introduction by DeFrancesco, capturing just how raw and spontaneous the session is. The result of course, is one marvelous take, complete with plenty of solo space for everyone to improvise to their heart's desire. "Tenderly" is the first of two ballads, and becomes a showpiece for Dwyer, whose warm-toned tenor solo sets the pace and opens the melody for DeFrancesco, and for Botos on Fender Rhodes, the two guiding the music to its eventual, cushy conclusion.

The group changes direction, playing hard and gritty on Arthur Young's burner, "Village Green," containing more of Dwyer's exuberant tenor phrases, competing against Rezza's crashing cymbal accents and strong stick work on the project's liveliest piece. DeFrancesco shows his chops and delivers a good measure of swing on his original, "Not That," where the sound of the organ is pronounced and leads the music.

The Walt Disney staple, "Alice In Wonderland," is the album's most ambitious piece, pulling off a truly creative and rich improvised version of the classic that extends to twelve minutes. The jam session ends with a bang and not a whimper, choosing to close with a fiery statement on the fast-paced tempo of "Broadway," complete with solo shots from everyone, as if they were exclaiming "That's it, take it or leave it!"

One Take, Volume Four, is all that's needed for a rich musical experience. Complete with ballads, burners and brilliant play from everyone, this is one performance that begs for an encore.

Track Listing: There Is No Greater Love; Tenderly; Village Green; Not That; Alice In Wonderland; Broadway.

Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco: Hammond B 3 Organ; Robi Botos: piano, Fender Rhodes; Vito Rezza: drums; Phil Dwyer: tenor saxophone.

Title: One Take, Volume Four | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Alma Records

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