When you ask organist Joey DeFrancesco where the spark of his instrument burns, he’ll tell you right away: organ greats Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, along with his father, “Papa” John DeFrancesco, who took his son at primary-school age into clubs in his hometown of Philadelphia, to sit in with saxophonist Hank Mobley or drummer “Philly” Joe Jones.
It’s early learning like this that eventually put Joey in projects with Ray Charles, Bobby Hutcherson, George Benson and many others. His latest album, In the Key of the Universe (Mack Avenue), affords experienced exploration with notable saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, master drummer Billy Hart, saxophonist Troy Roberts and percussionist Sammy Figueroa.
Joey put the listeners of Morning Jazz in the center of his musical universe, stopping in to play organ and Fender Rhodes (and trumpet!), with Roberts on saxophone and bass and Ralph Peterson, Jr. on drums. Quite the taste of what they’re doing through Sunday, at Jazz Standard in New York.
Here is the trio performing “In the Key of the Universe” in our studio.
And here is “Awake and Blissed.”
Videography - David Tallacksen and Khadiyah Thomas
Video Edit and Audio Mix - Corey Goldberg
For more about Joey DeFrancesco, visit his website.