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Joey DeFrancesco: Joey D!

To anyone who thinks that organist Joey DeFrancesco has run out of interesting ideas for album titles, it may be suggested that in calling his return to HighNote Records Joey D! he may not be referring entirely to himself. The “D” may well refer to Diversi, the brand of organ he plays, since he has invested in the company and become its spokesman. As described in Michael G. Nastos’ liner notes, Diversi’s instruments seem less like organs than like synthesizers made to sound like organs. They are able to “copy” or “clone” the sound of “someone’s vintage tone wheel console organ,” Nastos explains, adding that “the instrument DeFrancesco plays acts and sounds like an organ, if possible with a richer, deeper tone, especially in the bass foot pedals.” This last point is borne out on the album, which features only DeFrancesco, tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon and drummer Byron Landham, but which most listeners would suppose also includes a bass player, since a realistic double-bass sound, generated by DeFrancesco’s feet, is heard throughout.

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