Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Coryell & Jimmy Cobb – Wonderful! Wonderful! – HighNote HCD7241, 58:21 ****:
(Joey DeFrancesco – organ & (trumpet on track 7); Larry Coryell – guitar; Jimmy Cobb – drums)
Fronting a tight swinging trio, organist Joey DeFrancesco along with guitarist Larry Coryell and the celebrated drummer Jimmy Cobb deliver a high octane session that is truly Wonderful! Wonderful!
Now entering his third decade on the jazz scene, DeFrancesco is certainly at the top of his game as evidenced by this eight-track set of standards, ballads, and blues. The 1957 hit single “Wonderful! Wonderful!” originally sung by Johnny Mathis, is the takeoff point for the band’s unembellished version of the song. ”Five Spot After Dark,” the Benny Golson classic, is given a somewhat bluesy reading with Coryell and Cobb interjecting the appropriate inflections. ”Wagon Wheels” as interpreted by The Sons Of The Pioneers might have remained as part of the cowboy culture had it not been for the Sonny Rollins interpretation in his 1957 gem of an album Way Out West. Now Joey and his cohorts have pushed the tune’s promise into a new sound dimension and listening experience.
It would be an interesting exercise to see how many new jazz releases do not contain a Duke Ellington composition. It seems that it is de rigueur to have at least one Duke tune on any session and this one is no exception. ”Solitude” comes away no worse for wear with some attention-grabbing flourishes offered by DeFrancesco. A couple of original compositions grace the latter part of the album with Coryell doing the honors on “Joey D” and DeFrancesco showing his mettle with “JLJ Blues”. On the former, Jimmy Cobb demonstrates why his drumming was such an integral part of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue album. While the latter tune may be your standard twelve-bar blues, it is certainly not given a standard interpretation. The band picks up the blues groove with DeFrancesco’s organ wailing away, held together by Coryell and Cobb who lay down their supporting markers.
This album is a succinct definition of how an organ trio should sound.
TrackList: Wonderful! Wonderful!; Five Spot After Dark; Wagon Wheels; Solitude; Joey D; Love Letters; Old Folks; JLJ Blues.
Pure Pleasure Records releases a re-mastered vinyl of a live duo performance by Archie Shepp.