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Joey DeFrancesco: The Philadelphia Connection

Joey DeFrancesco, 31, has been leading his trio with guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Byron Landham for 12 years, during which time he has become the reigning king of jazz organ. The Philadelphia Connection, a tribute to organist Don Patterson, catches the group at full throttle, burning most of the way. Ballads and Blues, which features guests Pat Martino, Gary Bartz and family members Papa John DeFrancesco and brother John DeFrancesco on various tracks, is a more balanced set.

Larry Hollis’ liner notes for The Philadelphia Connection state that Patterson was noted for his ability to apply a lighter, pianolike touch to the heavier-handed organ keyboards. Patterson was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1936 and died in Philadelphia in 1988. He backed Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Eric Kloss and Wes Montgomery during his career, often with drummer Billy James, and he recorded several albums as a leader on Prestige and Muse.

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