If music is a language, Jazz is the philosophy of that language. When implemented honestly, it is an ultimate form of self expression, and it can be done in number of ways. Bobby McFerrin, for example, uses only his vocal chords. Pat Metheney his guitar, and Keith Jarrett his piano. So, Jazz is the way and the Jazzmen and Jazzwomen are the interpreters of that way, using first their mind to create their own unique interpretation, and then their instruments to express and share that interpretation. One of those instruments is Hammond Organ, and the man responsible for the resurgence of Hammond Organ back in popular music is Joey DeFrancesco. Coming from a musical family, Joey DeFrancesco released his first album at the age of 16, and been a leader, as well as an often collaborator with such giants as Miles Davis, and John McLaughlin, ever since.
Back in Toronto as part of the tour to support his latest release, Trip Mode, Joey DeFranccesco stormed the packed Hugh’s Room with his musicality, technique, energy, and a great sense of humor, for nearly two hours. Joey played the Hammond and his Nord, he sang, and played his trumpet, along side the drums and guitar duo and, indeed ,expressed his musical sense, taste, and shared his one-of-a- kind interpretive skill with the enthusiastic audience who were in absolute awe for having the opportunity to witness the sonic miracle that is Joey DeFrancesco’s music.
It is very important, as Joey DeFrancesco pointed out, to support live music. Nothing can replace the energy, atmosphere, and the magical sonic conversation that can be created by live Jazz performers. What’s equally great, however, are the Jazz artists who have the ability to transfer and recreate that energy, atmosphere, and magic, in their recordings. And Joey DeFrancesco is more than able to do just that, as it’s evident by his latest album, Tripe Mode, which he graciously made available to his toronto fans prior to it’s release date, and stayed long after the performance to sign the purchased CDs, receive compliments and share gratitude.
Excellent music, excellent performance, and excellent audience. It’s moments like this that fills me with great joy for living in the great True North.