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Ballads and Blues

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Album Review

Don't be fooled by the title. While Ballads and Blues may sound like a mellow batch of tunes to listen to while strolling in the park, the ever-soulful Joey DeFrancesco has something else in mind. The album takes off with "Get It All," a groovy piece of funk complete with Paul Bollenback's zesty guitar and Byron Landham's balanced backbeat. A steady, rocking groove also defines pieces like "Take the Coltrane" and "Jammin' in the Basement." The latter cut, in particular, emanates a good vibe, perhaps due to the presence of brother John DeFrancesco on guitar and Papa John DeFrancesco on a second B-3. Other guests include Pat Martino and saxophonist Gary Bartz on two tracks each. At least two pieces, "Home on the Range" and "Mama Don't Allow No," suggest that DeFrancesco has been hanging out with genre-bending guitarist Bill Frisell. And while soul-jazz renditions of folk songs may sound like a strange mix, every cut flows together in a lovely mesh of organ, guitar, and drums. DeFrancesco ends the album in a flourish by adding his smooth, rich vocals to "That's All." While his fans probably will not wait for a recommendation to pick up Ballads and Blues, everyone else will find the album a good introduction to organ music for the new millennium. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Hard and Cool

This is a different Recording, hard, & and takes some repeated listening work before your brain sez "I Get It".

Get is all is great song, used to play it before youth football game and my son (who was 12 at the time) still gets a smile on his face when he hears it.

A great personal music memory.

bob, Denver, Co

Biography

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
Ballads and Blues, Joey DeFrancesco
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Jul 09, 2002

Customer Ratings

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Contemporaries