Joey_defrancesco-joey_defrancescos_goodfellas_span3
May 2000

Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco's Goodfellas
Concord Jazz

"Dad, are you in the Mafia?"
"There's no such thing as the Mafia."
-dialogue from HBO series The Sopranos.
The other day whilst scarfing slices 'n' root beer, headphone-nodding to track one ("Speak Softly Love") of Hammond B-3 ace Joey DeFrancesco's new Goodfellas (Frank Vignola, guitar; Joe Ascione, drums) CD, I went into deep reverie, flashing back to my formative years in Jersey. A bumping, double-time "Volare" took me back to a dinner years ago in a mobbed-up restaurant in Newark's Vailsburg section. It was like down-home-big plates of food, kids running in/out the kitchen, laughter, Frank, Ray, Louie Prima, Jim}y Smith playing on the jukebox. A jaunty fox trot ("Fly Me to the Moon") and a "te amo" slow drag ("All the Way") later, I was deep in the retro-gestalt. Judging by the trio's cover portrait homage to Scorcese's Goodfellas, the mouthy, wiseguy liner notes, album-closer "Whack 'Em (Reprise)/Tarentella"'s ill salute to Jimmy Smith, Joe Pesci and Nino Rota, Goodfellas (the band) feel what I'm feeling.
Other jams like the hard-bopping/bomb dropping torqued-up cover of Monk's "Evidence," the bouncy blues bum rush of bel canto chestnut "O Solo Mio," and "Malafemmena"'s Meters, second line-fonkin'/Muddy Waters mojo-boppin' Las Vegas-twist on "When You're Smiling" are all about stretching out, courting the joy of surprise, upping the bar.

Originally published in May 2000
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!