COMPOSERS: Joey DeFrancesco
LABELS: Concord (dist New Note)
WORKS: Legacy, Dot Com Blues, I’ll Close My Eyes, Back At The Chicken Shack, Jones’n For Elvin, Off The Top, Corcovado (Quiet Nights), I’ve Got My Mojo Workin’ , St. Thomas, Blues For Bobby C., Midnight Special
PERFORMER: Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: CCD-2229-2
Arguably the greatest jazz organists of their respective generations, Joey DeFrancesco and the late Jimmy Smith team up for an intelligently produced and well programmed encounter. For sheer technical aplomb, DeFrancesco is the Marc-André Hamelin of the Hammond B3, whose fastest, densest flights of fancy never fail to swing like mad (he also flexes his considerable piano virtuosity on several tracks).
For his part, Smith’s signature rapid-fire lines and emotion-tugging sustained notes make little concession to his 79 years. Two Smith classics, ‘Back at the Chicken Shack’ and ‘I’ve Got My Mojo Working’ subject the original arrangements to funky upgrades, while James Moody turns in an impassioned guest tenor sax appearance on ‘Jones’n for Elvin’. The organists meld truly and sensitively as one voice on slower numbers like the ballad ‘I’ll Close My Eyes’ and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s venerable ‘Corcovado’. Jed Distler