117

The City Rhythm Orchestra: Vibrant Tones

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The City Rhythm Orchestra: Vibrant Tones With this new CD and companion DVD, you can not only hear Philadelphia's exciting City Rhythm Orchestra with guest artist and homeboy Joey DeFrancesco burning at the Hammond B-3, you can also see them ramp up the voltage in a crowd-pleasing dockside concert from July '03 at Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ.

Musically, the CD and DVD are far from synonymous. Of the dozen tunes on the CD, seven are repeated in the concert, but with different solos, of course, and showing the kind of spontaneity and energy that can't be duplicated in a studio setting, now matter how hard one tries. Which is not to imply that the studio date is less than exhilarating, as DeFrancesco and the CRO make sure there's no letdown. But there's something about hearing and seeing an awesome big band (and guest) in full flight that makes the experience even more rewarding. What we have is the best of both possible worlds: the clean, harmonious sound of the studio vs. the loose and unplanned emotion of a live performance.

In both cases, DeFrancesco is clearly the star, even though the CRO is more than mere window dressing, playing with precision and power and showing why someone of DeFrancesco's stature is obviously delighted to be in its company. DeFrancesco, no longer the heir-apparent but the undisputed king of the B-3 now that Jimmy Smith has passed on, is a technical whiz who never lets that get in the way of his unquenchable spirit, which shines through on every number and at every tempo. In other words, he's fairly drippin' with soul. On the CD, DeFrancesco is featured on all but one number, and it's another highlight—Johnny Burke/Jimmy van Heusen's "It Could Happen to You, which showcases Paul Bollenback's swinging guitar in a splendid arrangement by Joe Matt who did the same for all or most of the songs on the studio date and perhaps the concert as well.

"It Could Happen is one of five numbers not replicated on the DVD. The others are "Time After Time, "Blues in Hoss' Flat, "It Ain't Necessarily So and "Turn Me Loose, while the DVD includes "Things Ain't What They Used to Be, "Moanin', "Pennies from Heaven (with buoyant vocal by DeFrancesco) and the theme from "Peter Gunn. High spots on both discs include Horace Silver's "Señor Blues, Neal Hefti's "Whirly Bird, Lalo Schifrin's "The Cat, Bird's "Billie's Bounce and Quincy Jones' "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set.

When it comes to the Hammond B-3, there's none better than Joey DeFrancesco, while the CRO has matured over twenty years to earn a niche among the country's most impressive big bands. Vibrant Tones is one instance in which seeing and hearing is believing.

Track Listing: Se

Personnel: Nick Vallerio(co-leader), John Guida, alto sax; Wendell Hobbs, Pete Spina (co-leader), tenor sax; Ed Golaszewski, baritone sax; Ken Brader, Bob Gravener, Vinny Borselli, John Bailey, trumpet; Joe Ziegenfus, Brian Pastor, Clint Sharman (1, 3-5, 8, 9), Mike Galan (2, 6, 7, 10-12), trombone; Dave Cianci, bass trombone; Paul Bollenback, guitar; Mark Estes, bass; Mike Nigro, drums. Special guest artist -- Joey DeFrancesco, Hammond B3 organ, piano (7).

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Limehouse Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Rebirth" CD/LP/Track Review Rebirth
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!