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Musician

Joey DeFrancesco

Born:

Joey DeFrancesco’s emergence in the 1980s marked the onset of a musical renaissance. Organ jazz had been a form of music that literally went into hibernation from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties largely because of the introduction of high-tech, light-weight keyboards. It was Joey, however, that ignited the flame once again with the sound of his vintage Hammond organ and Leslie tone cabinet.

He not only illuminated this once dormant music form but brought back the many proponents of jazz organ who had been shuffled by record producers and club owners to lesser roles within the music industry. Befriending and supporting those who preceded him, Joey became the new-age proponent of an instrument that had been pushed aside in favor of the growing technology. Considered a child prodigy, Joey remembers as far back as age four, playing jazz tunes modeled by his father, Papa John DeFrancesco and memorizing music from the many jazz albums in their home. Papa John, a jazz organist himself, took young Joey under his wing and nurtured his rapidly developing skills, bringing Joey along with him to gigs, Joey would sit-in with as many seasoned Philadelphia musicians who were around.

Album

To Whom I Love

Label: Blue Engine Records
Released: 2024
Track listing: JP Shuffle, Girl in the Jeep, 80 Tears of Joy, Tenderness Within, Splanky, Exploring the City, Grateful for the Good Times, (On the) Sunny Side of the Street, Dance of the Merry Maker.

7

Article: Album Review

Tony Monaco Trio: Over and Over

Read "Over and Over" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


B-3. The organ model resonates with jazz fans as something musically profound which fundamentally hits in the soul. Perhaps it is the Gospel and church roots or the list of greats in the jazz organ pantheon--Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Shirley Scott, et al. Now that Joey DeFrancesco has left us, there is a ...

3

Article: Liner Notes

Tim Warfield: One For Shirley

Read "Tim Warfield: One For Shirley" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Jimmy Smith and Larry Young have continually set the benchmark for creative endeavors involving jazz and the Hammond B-3 organ, Smith being acknowledged for bringing the technical virtuosity of be-bop to the instrument and Young for expanding the vernacular based on the forward-thinking implications of John Coltrane. Somewhere in between these two, a colorful range of ...

2

Article: Liner Notes

John Swana: Philly Gumbo Vol.2

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo Vol.2" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


It seems like a lot of up and coming trumpeters these days go for the bop stylings of Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw as their main influence. Far fewer look to players like Art Farmer or Kenny Wheeler for inspiration. That's what has made watching the development of Philadelphia trumpet man John Swana so fascinating over ...

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Article: Liner Notes

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


It seems like a case of the big fish swimming in a small pond. So while Philadelphia native John Swana currently chooses to make his home in the city of Brotherly Love, it's clearly evident that this world-class musician could succeed easily in the Big Apple, the undisputed center of jazz activity in America. Taking up ...

Album

ArtWork

Label: Cavalry Productions
Released: 2023
Track listing: Fever; Hello; At Last; If Love Is Overrated; Not While I’m Around; She’s Funny That Way; This Masquerade; If You Go Away; Empty Chairs; Lush Life; Is That All There Is; Here’s to Life; This Is All I Ask; One Day.

Album

The Good Life

Label: HighNote Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: If I Had You; Mr. D; Up and Down; Lowe Groovin’; 1, 2, 3, 4; Sister Tankersley; The Good Life.

5

Article: Album Review

Jack Jones Featuring Joey DeFrancesco: ArtWork

Read "ArtWork" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


"Those who know, know" happens to be a soon-to-be-overused phrase to describe the hip, the “In," and “the very elite of aware." Now in his Mid-80s, Jack Jones has maintained a stellar, cross-media career, all on a foundation of a once-in-a-lifetime voice. Mel Torme, one not easily prone to hyperbole, called Jones, “the best pure singer ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Les McCann, Phil Markowitz, Melba Liston & Audrey Ochoa

Read "Les McCann, Phil Markowitz, Melba Liston & Audrey Ochoa" reviewed by Joe Dimino


We begin the 822nd episode of Neon Jazz with Canadian trombonist Audrey Ochoa and music from her 2023 album The Head of a Mouse. From there, we hear from the legendary Melba Liston. As the hour continues, we dig into new music from Joe Alterman, Chris Lee, Andrew Rathbun and Kelly Jefferson. In between, we drop ...


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