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Incredible! by Joey Defrancesco and Jimmy Smith

October 28, 1999 will go down in jazz organ history as one of the most electrifying nights on record. That was the night Joey Defrancesco and the grand master of the Hammond B-3 organ Jimmy Smith were captured live at Bimbo's 365 club during the San Francisco Jazz festival. The disc starts off with Joey and his trio of guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Byron Landham with a burning version of "The Champ", a tune which made Jimmy Smith a force in the jazz world. He puts his own spin on the tune, lovingly quoting Smith's original solo.

Paul Bollenback shares the spotlight on "When You're Smilin" playing an interesting solo which sounds like his fingers are really close to the bridge of his guitar. The trio runs through "The Good Life" and for a set closer a jackrabbit fast take on the standard "Indiana". (a Jimmy Smith version at a similar tempo appears on "Groovin At Smalls Paradise") featuring an excellent drum solo by Byron Landham. Then comes the main event: Jimmy Smith takes the stage with his band to jam with Joey on two extended medleys.

The first medley includes a beautiful duet of "The Reverend"(not the Milt Jackson tune, this is a Smith original) "Yesterdays" and "My Romance", where both men display torrid fireworks. Joey stuns the audience with an amazing run,during "Yesterdays" which the veteran Smith swiftly answers with an equally impressive display that turns into "My Romance". The two giants tackle Smith's "The Skeezer", and Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas" trading hot phrases back and forth near the close. Mere words can not describe the excitement that this recording captures. It is truly history and an instant classic.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joey Defrancesco and Jimmy Smith
  • CD Title: Incredible!
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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