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ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: In The Key Of The Universe

Read "In The Key Of The Universe" reviewed by Doug Collette

Joey DeFrancesco has stretched himself regularly throughout the course of thirty-plus albums. Just since Project Freedom (Mack Avenue, 2017) he's collaborated very productively for two albums with the Irish soulman Van Morrison--You're Driving Me Crazy (Sony Legacy, 2018) and The Prophet Speaks (Caroline, 2018). And, on In The Key of the Universe, the organist/trumpeter reaffirms his connection with jazz history through fruitful work with estimable musicians including saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and drummer Billy Hart.DeFrancesco himself sounds effortless as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: In The Key Of The Universe

Read "In The Key Of The Universe" reviewed by Chris Mosey

This is an important, even historic album. It marks--unannounced--the return of a great figure of the free jazz era, Pharoah Sanders. Saxophonist Albert Ayler once famously declared, “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." Hammond organist Joey DeFrancesco has orchestrated Sanders' return from oblivion. Without it, the album would be just one more round of Hammond organ tunes that adhere to DeFrancesco's dictum “I just like to swing." ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017

Read "Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017" reviewed by Steve Bryant

My personal favorites from 2017. The best of the best. Joey DeFrancesco + The People Project Freedom Mack Avenue Eddie Palmieri Sabiduria Ropeadope Jazzmeia Horn Social Call Concord Charles Lloyd New Quartet Passing Through Blue Note Arturo O'Farrill / Chucho Valdes Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico Motema

NEW YORK BEAT

Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Read "Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" reviewed by Nick Catalano

As the New York August heat blazed onto the streets on Saturday night (August 13th), Joey DeFrancesco and his trio rocketed into Dizzy's with their own burning repertoire. The B-3 wizard played four selections from his new HighNote CD Trip Mode and had an audience which included Bill Charlap, Paquito D'Rivera, and Todd Barkan roaring with approval for the tunes--some written with metronome settings breaking the sound barrier. The new group features guitarist Dan Wilson and drummer ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland 2015

Read "Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland 2015" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

2015 Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland Playhouse Square Cleveland, Ohio July 9-11, 2015 For the second time in its 36-year history, Tri-C JazzFest lit up downtown Cleveland with a three-day midsummer jazz festival that mixed paid shows from national headliners with free outdoor performances featuring musicians from Northeast Ohio. Home to all these festivities would be the highly acclaimed Playhouse Square area, with an outdoor plaza being utilized for the free concerts that ran each day from ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: Home for the Holidays

Read "Home for the Holidays" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In a year when the best-selling holiday music will likely be represented by the whorehouse that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra--specifically The Christmas Attic, chocked full of Keith Emerson's left over arrangements from 45 years ago merged with 1980s Steve Vai and called “art"--there is credible and well-crafted holiday music being made. Multi-instrumentalist and singer Joey DeFrancesco serves up a tasty holiday dish from that most venerated of soul-jazz instruments, the Hammond B3 Organ. Holiday music has been ...

LIVE REVIEWS

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2014, Days 1-2

Read "TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2014, Days 1-2" reviewed by John Kelman

Days 1-2 | Days 4-6 | Days 7- 9 Joey DeFrancesco Trio / Sun Rooms / Harris Eisenstadt Golden StateTD Ottawa Jazz Festival Ottawa, Canada June 20-July 1, 2014 Another year, another TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, except to say so would sound dismissive of a festival that, year after year--now, in 2014, in presenting its 34th edition--has managed to address the challenges of festival programming for a musical genre where the majority of ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Joey DeFrancesco at Birdland

Read "Joey DeFrancesco at Birdland" reviewed by Nick Catalano

On the final night of January and the onset of Super Bowl weekend, Joey DeFrancesco brought his touring trio into Birdland celebrating his latest CD release for HighNote One For Rudy. With bandmates guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Carmen Intorre DeFrancesco lit up the room with his B3 and deftly moved to the trumpet and then to the piano--performance features he has included in his last several years. The album celebrates the organist's association with famed record ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: One for Rudy

Read "One for Rudy" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The “Rudy" singled out for favor on this new CD by organist Joey DeFrancesco's admirable trio is the legendary recording engineer Rudy van Gelder who engineered, mixed and mastered the album at his studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. DeFrancesco, whose mastery of the Hammond B3 is universally recognized and unquestioned, wrote the groovy homage to van Gelder that wraps up the album, elsewhere stepping aside to make room for such able tunesmiths as Miles Davis, Eddie Heywood, Gordon Jenkins, Freddie ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: Wonderful! Wonderful!

Read "Wonderful! Wonderful!" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

B-3 specialist Joey DeFrancesco has enjoyed a long and successful Career; so long, that Wonderful! Wonderful! is DeFrancesco's tenth HighNote release. With Tony Monaco his only real “traditional" jazz organ peer, DeFrancesco pretty well has the market cornered for greasy chitlin' circuit funk jazz cum Italian-American savoir faire. Joined by legends, guitarist Larry Coryell and drummer Jimmy Cobb, DeFrancesco assembles a more than competent organ guitar trio, where the three's empathic understanding makes for a satisfying recital of original and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey DeFrancesco: Wonderful! Wonderful!

Read "Wonderful! Wonderful!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The organ trio is one of the most time-tested aggregations in jazz, and the men who form said grouping on Wonderful! Wonderful! are three of the most treasured musicians to ever play their instruments. Organ giant Joey DeFrancesco, guitar hero Larry Coryell and swinging drum stalwart Jimmy Cobb all set the bar impossibly high on their respective axes and now, they're joining forces on the organist's tenth album for the HighNote label. This high profile threesome references ...

THE MORT REPORT

Joey DeFrancesco Projects Showed The Difference Between Music, And The Music "Business"

Read "Joey DeFrancesco Projects Showed The Difference Between Music, And The Music "Business"" reviewed by Mort Weiss

This is the story of two collaborations with Joey DeFrancesco that you almost never saw--or the difference between music ... and the music “business." The first unreleased album I recorded with Joey DeFrancesco is now known as the Mort Weiss Quartet CD featuring Joey, Ron Eschete and Ramon Banda, followed by 2006's The B3 and Me. Both of them eventually appeared on my own SMS Jazz label, but more on that in a minute. The ...