Joey DeFrancesco: MORE MUSIC
After a year of pandemic lockdown – with stages dark and nightclubs shuttered, friends and families kept at a social distance, and political and social tensions raging – the one thing we could all use right now is More Music. And who better to supply that demand than Joey DeFrancesco?
More Music is “more” in every conceivable way. It offers up ten new DeFrancesco originals, brought to life by a scintillating new trio. And the master organist, who has long supplemented his keyboard virtuoso with his skilled trumpet playing, here brings out his full arsenal: organ, keyboard, piano, trumpet, and, for the first time on record, tenor saxophone. He also steps to the microphone to croon Mario Romano’s yearning “And If You Please.”
Joey D isn’t the only one wearing several hats on the album. A fellow torchbearer of the Philadelphia organ jazz tradition, Lucas Brown takes on the unenviable task of sharing organ duties with his generation’s most influential practitioner. Not only does he fulfill those duties admirably, freeing DeFrancesco to juggle his other talents, but he also showcases his six-string wizardry on several traditional organ-guitar trio tracks. Michael Ode sticks to the drums throughout, anchoring the trio’s multiple configurations with muscular swing and electrifying grooves.
Not only does DeFrancesco welcome fellow organist/guitarist Lucas Brown and unbridled drummer Michael Ode into his circle for a new trio, but he also displays his talents for organ, piano, trumpet, and—for the first time on record—tenor saxophone. His new music is dedicated to mood. A swelling, breathy tenor sax accents the tender balladry of “Lady G,” strolling to its finale with the gentlest of Hammond blue grace notes. Ode lends beguilingly random rhythms to the organ/tenor workout “Angel Calling,” with the same level of pulsing complication he gives the album’s opener “Free” but with far less hard punctuation. How three musicians so happily floating in mid-air ever land on terra firma is a mystery. How much more can Joey DeFrancesco do? If More Music is any indication, the sky’s the limit.
-- JazzTimes (A.D. Amorosi)
Catalog Number: MAC1186
Label: Mack Avenue Records
Number of Discs: 1
Performer: Joey DeFrancesco