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Joey DeFrancesco with Jimmy Smith: Legacy

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Legacy is more than just a two-organ jam session, which Jimmy Smith and DeFrancesco already engaged in on the latter’s live recording Incredible! (Concord, 2000). Rather, this CD is a thoughtfully conceived studio project that pushes the elder B3 burner beyond his obvious bop ‘n’ blues strengths.

The title track, for instance, is an open-ended modal number that has DeFrancesco’s longtime guitarist Paul Bollenback playing electric sitar-guitar and DeFrancesco slowly warming up the room with droning, Eastern-influenced statements on piano before launching into McCoy Tyner territory. Smith responds with some harmonically provocative right-handed flurries that sound more like Larry Young’s avant-ish excursions than what we have come to associate with the man who penned such greasy anthems as “Big Fat Mama” and “The Sermon.”

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