Catch a Corner
Organist Joey DeFrancesco and pocket maestro Steve Gadd join veterans John Johnson on saxes, Robi Botos on piano and Peter Cardinali on bass for this tasty Crusaders-meets-Stuff-inspired blend of funk, jazz and soul. The band name means “five” in Italian, and this is truly a cooperative quintet in every sense of the word. Joey D naturally kills on every solo and Gadd grooves in inimitable fashion on infectious jams like “Conflicting Advice” and the title track, which sounds like a cross between Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me to Stay” and Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny.” “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning” morphs from fatback funk into gospel, with Botos playing Richard Tee on Fender Rhodes to Johnson’s David Sanborn on alto sax. Johnson channels Hank Crawford on a churchy rendition of Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years”; “Cover the Humpty Dump” is a swinging 6/8 vehicle for DeFrancesco; and the jaunty “Geppetto’s Blues,” essentially a “Sonnymoon for Two”-type jam, showcases Johnson’s robust-toned, Lockjaw-inspired tenor work.