Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1094

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Joey Defrancesco Trio : Ronnie Scotts 13/04/2016

Joey1 Joey 2 Joey3

Heralded as the best B3 player on the planet tonight it was plain to see all the accolades were entirely spot on as Joey and the gang gave a masterclass in all things jazz as natural and as stunning as a blue moon in Harlem.So elemental is he behind that beast of an organ, he can literally change the weather with his array of tones,snarls and growls which reminds me of a Shakespeare quote (from 'The Tempest')
"A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather or our office." In a cool yet studied way 'Fran The Man' was in no mood to take prisoners even though the start was very mellow with our protaganist who launched into rhodes and organ simultaneously whilst graciously letting his guitarist,Dan Wilson exercise his considerable Benson like chops on the first solo of the evening but it was only a matter of time before the strident Joey took centre stage as his ferociously fast flurries bedazzled all and sundry backed by drummer Jason Brown,whose lightening fast reactions on his snare drum to the hard swing he helped create, kept the whole gig turbocharged,highly explosive and riveting....

It was prime time viewing at the world's best jazz club as Joey and co rooted down for the night with a yard of hard bop grooves.Up next was 'Get It All' a blistering blues tune with a fast jittery head again highligting the incendiary drummer who traded fours (whilst resolutely refusing to be in the shade of his master)to devastating effect.

The trio's interplay was,in essence more cohesive than superglue no set list either-tunes were pulled out of thin air as Joey's sidemen nodded approvingly as he rattled out his schtick.Ballad of the evening Nat King Cole's 'Around The World in Eighty Days was a joy to behold - Croon time! Plus some fluid mute trumpet,yes this jazz juggler can do it all at the same time with ebullient flair and verve.Talk about letting his sublime talent speak for itself!Joey has reaffirmed the organ as a bone fide voice in the hard-bop tradition and tonight I can tick him off my bucket list with gusto as the trio rounded off the night with the soulful mid-tempo funk groove of 'A Thousand Ways'.

It was great also to see the guy hang around for the late show held by guitarist wizz,Artie Zaitz proving Joey is just one of the guys but with a god given talent.A top night in Soho,gold dust in fact!
Words Emrys Baird

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