Friday, June 26, 2009

Joey DeFrancesco - Finger Poppin' (Doodlin' Records, 2009)

Taking Horace Silver's funky compositions and bringing them to a groovin' organ group seems like a natural idea (one Shirley Scott did in the '60's) and when you put together a fine group of DeFrancesco on Hammond B3 organ, Tim Warfield on tenor saxophone, Silver band veteran Tom Harrell on trumpet and Byron Landham on drums it makes for a fresh and enjoyable album. I downloaded this album from eMusic and their track names were out of order, so that upped the degree of difficulty a little bit, but didn't diminish my enjoyment of the album. The funky grinders were propulsive and fun, classic Silver compositions like the strutting "Filthy McNasty" and "Strollin" benefited from DeFrancesco's huge sound on the organ and bass pedals locked in with Landham's solid backbeat. Warfield is a saxophonist that flies under the radar a little bit, but he's a very solid player who has several albums under his name that are worthy of being checked out. Harrell sounds great in this scenario, soloing and playing the ensemble passages very well. A couple of ballads including the beautiful "Peace" round out a fun and enjoyable album. Progressive jazz fans may find the melody - solo - solo - melody format a little stale, but for partisans of hard bop and sould jazz, there is a lot of meat on these bones.
Finger Poppin -

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