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Joey DeFrancesco on Working With Van Morrison

How the organist helped Morrison make his jazziest album yet

Joey DeFrancesco and Van Morrison (photo by Richard Wade)
Joey DeFrancesco and Van Morrison (photo by Richard Wade)

Van Morrison’s love for jazz and blues is well documented, going back to his genre-bending classic Astral Weeks, recorded in 1968 and featuring bassist Richard Davis and drummer Connie Kay. A different sort of jazz influence, evocative of Miles’ In a Silent Way, pervaded the ’80s albums he recorded with trumpeter Mark Isham. In recent years, Morrison has released the jazz-flecked R&B album Born to Sing: No Plan B on Blue Note, sung alongside the likes of George Benson and Gregory Porter on a duets album, and delved into the Great American Songbook on last year’s Versatile. However, none of those recordings have swung quite as hard as You’re Driving Me Crazy (Legacy), his current collaboration with organist and trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco and his band. We spoke with DeFrancesco about working with the legendary Irish singer-songwriter and co-producing that album. LEE MERGNER

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