STORY WRITTEN BY ROB NAGY
For Digital First Media
Jazz icon Joey DeFrancesco, the reigning king of the Hammond B-3 organ, recently returned to his native Philadelphia for four sold out shows at Chris’ Jazz Café.
Rooted among a multigenerational audience of jazz enthusiasts, I sat fixated as DeFrancesco, joined by Dan Wilson (Guitar) and Jason Brown (Drums), performed a riveting seventy-five minute set.
In complete command from the opening chords of “Squeeze Me,” the trio navigated with vigor through a selection including “Who Shot John,” “The Touch of Your Lips,” “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey” and “Trip Mode.”
The multitalented DeFrancesco showcased his creative and diverse mastery as one of the most gifted keyboard players worldwide. Equally impressive was his crooning vocal and fine trumpet playing on the seductive ”The Touch of Your Lips.”
Accompanied by the flawless, high-octane guitar playing of Wilson and the driving steady beat of Brown on drums, the trio performed one memorable night of jazz.
A notably rapt audience connected with every beat, delivered rousing cheers throughout the set and sent the trio off stage to a standing ovation.
Having attended many shows at this warm and cozy club, I’ve never enjoyed the pleasure of a silent audience during a performance there. Midway through the evening, DeFrancesco himself thanked his fans for their attention.
Between shows, as fans lined up for the trio’s final performance of the weekend, DeFrancesco graciously greeted admirers, thanking them for their support as he signed copies of his latest release, “Trip Mode.”
DeFrancesco’s triumphant return to his home turf will hopefully lead to a follow-up engagement in the not too distant future.