David Sanborn & Joey DeFrancesco with Billy Hart & Warren Wolf
Joey's dazzling facility was once described as by guitar great Pat Martino, himself a veteran of many classic B-3 sessions. Combining monstrous chops with a flair for showmanship and an unquenchable urge to burn, DeFrancesco almost single-handedly put the Beast back in the public eye. As the late critic Leonard Feather wrote in the liner notes to his 1994 recording, All About My Girl: No less significant in the story of Joey's ascendancy is the ability he has shown to create excitement. The tension he is capable of building brings back to mind a tradition that began some 50 years ago, when Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts began stirring up audiences around the country. Listen to a "Donna Lee" and other cuts on this CD and you can hardly fail to be moved by the emotion Joey and his colleagues generate.
Today DeFrancesco is regarded by organ aficionados as the greatest jazz organists in the business (a claim supported by his six consecutive DownBeat Critics Poll awards for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007). And while Joey has never made any boastful claims about his own ranking among the organ elite on the contrary, he has always respectfully deferred to his B-3 elders, the fact is, no organist today plays with the skill, harmonic depth, and authority of this phenomenon from Philly. With over 20 solo releases and historic associations with legends such as Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones and John McLaughlin, DeFrancesco's place in the idiom's history is cemented.