Joey DeFrancesco

Organic Vibes

Tired of overbearingly “creative” jazz that leaves you with a headache? Like “groove”-oriented sounds but crave something a little less predictable? Philadelphia organist Joey DeFrancesco has a solution. Behold the prosaically titled but nonetheless magnificent Organic Vibes, wherein our hero — who at age ten sat in with jazz organ icons Jack McDuff and Richard “Groove” Holmes — complements his limber, high-calorie Hammond B-3 with luminously lyrical vibes modernist Bobby Hutcherson, tenor sax legend George Coleman, and Byron Landham’s unbelievably brisk, almost drum-‘n’-bass-like skins work. Though the results would likely be cool if these hepcats merely hummed along on autopilot, they do push the envelope some. The set kicks off with the supercharged, volatile hard-bop of “The Tackle,” wherein drums crack like firecrackers and push Joey D. into several fiery forays. Then there’s the otherwise carefree “Little B’s Poem,” on which DeFrancesco practically seethes. Elsewhere, he cedes the spotlight: Coleman’s bluesy tone shines on “Speak Low,” where he gets to duo/duel with fellow tenor Ron Blake. Organic is that rare Best of Both Worlds treat, gregarious and uncompromising in one tasty package.

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