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Album Review

Joey DeFrancesco, a second-generation jazz organist (following his father, Papa John DeFrancesco) and a third-generation jazz musician (following his grandfather, Joe DeFrancesco, who played with the Dorsey Brothers) might be thought of as a tradtionalist, if only because of his heritage. And Joey D!, his return to HighNote Records is, in some ways, a traditional jazz trio session on which he is accompanied by tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon and drummer Byron Landham. But, although from the sound of it, DeFrancesco seems to be playing a Hammond B-3 organ (and there seems to be an acoustic bassist in there somewhere), in fact he is playing a keyboard made by the Diversi company (of which he is an investor), which seems to be a synthesizer specially made to reproduce organ sounds, including bass pedals. Annotator and All Music Guide contributor Michael G. Nastos gives the impression that the Diversi can be made to sound like any organ, saying it can "clone" such sounds. So, here, new technology is being used to achieve an old sound. The sound is also old in the sense that DeFrancesco, Weldon, and Landham are playing some standard jazz repertoire, including Miles Davis' "Dig," as well as a couple of tunes associated with Frank Sinatra — "Come Dance with Me" and "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)," that would have been appropriate inclusions on DeFrancesco's 2004 album Joey DeFrancesco Plays Sinatra His Way. The album has a last-set feel, as if the musicians were gearing down after a long night, well-lubricated and playing well together.


Born: April 10, 1971 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The music of Joey DeFrancesco -- an important force in the revival of the Hammond B-3 organ as a jazz instrument, as well as a trumpeter and vocalist -- runs the gamut from soul-jazz and bluesy grooves à la Jimmy Smith to hard bop to the more advanced modal style of Coltrane disciple Larry Young. Born in Springfield, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia) on April 10, 1971, DeFrancesco was the son of another Philly-area jazz organist, Papa John DeFrancesco, and the grandson of multi-instrumentalist Joe...
Full bio
Joey D!, Joey DeFrancesco
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Sep 09, 2008

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