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All In The Family by Joey Defrancesco & "Papa John" Defrancesco

During my tenure as a DJ at the local college radio station, I had an opportunity to take a listen to a first, and potentially exciting double organ encounter between Joey Defrancesco, and his father "Papa John" Defrancesco. The disc, quite frankly, left a lot to be desired in my ears. The disc kicks off with a swinging take of "Bags' Groove" by vibraphonist Milt Jackson. I was enjoying the superb solos by Houston Person, and Melvin Sparks, but the fun stopped as soon as the organs kicked in. Being a lover of jazz organ, I try to extend my ear to different players, but sometimes I can't quite do it. Joey solos first, showing some very flashy lines, almost blasphemous trilling, and in one of his final choruses quotes a line from Jimmy Smith's solo on "J.O.S."(which Smith cut in '57). John goes next, with a more percussive sound(the organ had a heavy click)and in a few bars, quotes directly from Smith's now famous solo on "The Sermon" capping it off with the stuttering, that is one of Jimmy's trademark licks. The next tune, "Sunny" has the organists featured in a breezy ballad, with John echoing the sound of Johnny Hammond, while Joey imitates the Jimmy Smith "Errol Garner Sound", fairly good solos, but nothing to write home about. Aside from a few more swingers, and a horrible take of "My Buddy"(both Defrancescos sing, and talk about their personal relationship, Joey sounding like a lounge singer)This disc isn't the best multiple organ collaboration. Despite great playing from the tenors of Houston Person, Bootsie Barnes, and guitarist Melvin Sparks, the main attractions just fill the listener with recycled organ cliches, and quotes from other organists. I was more impressed by Rudy Van Gelder's engineering. For a spectacular multi organ encounter, get "Charles Earland's Jazz Organ Summit" It's just my opinion, but pass on "All In The Family", it will leave you empty.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joey Defrancesco & "Papa John" Defrancesco
  • CD Title: All In The Family
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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