Joey DeFrancesco – Plays Sinatra His Way

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“It is tempting to play up the “Italian Connection” on Joey’s newest record. With Joey’s previous nod toward the Goodfellas it would easy to claim that Frank Sinatra is the natural next step. But the simple fact of the matter is that this is tribute of one master of American Music to another. Perhaps no other singer in history defined the American Popular Songbook as Frank Sinatra and it is only natural that Joey DeFrancesco  so instrumental in defining the new B-3 sound  would turn to wealth of exceptional material from the Sinatra discography. Great music is great music and Joey knows it and has surrounded himself with great sidemen. The great Houston Person on tenor sax is on hand as is groove master guitarist Melvin Sparks and Joey’s drummer of choice, Byron Landham. Together they swing through six tunes recorded by Sinatra and, while far from mimicking the original arrangements, they pay tribute to the legacy of Sinatra, refracted through the prism of their own talent and imagination.” – Editorial Reviews.

“Frank Sinatra’s repertoire (like that of Ella Fitzgerald) was so vast that when musicians or singers wish to pay tribute, they can choose almost any American popular song of 1930-1955 and it would fit. Organist Joey DeFrancesco plays nine well-known standards on this date, some of which are more closely associated with Sinatra than others. Actually, the Sinatra connection is basically irrelevant, for DeFrancesco swings in his usual fashion. Teamed with tenor saxophonist Houston Person (who is up for the challenge), guitarist Melvin Sparks, and drummer Byron Landham, DeFrancesco rips through a very uptempo version of “Pennies from Heaven,” adds soul to “Teach Me Tonight,” cooks on “What Now My Love,” is relatively relaxed on “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,” and duets with Person on a sensitive version of “Angel Eyes.” As usual on a Joey DeFrancesco date, everything works.” – Scott Yanow/AllMusic.

Track listing:

1 I Get A Kick Out Of You 5:35
2 Teach Me Tonight 5:55
3 Pennies From Heaven 5:21
4 What`s New 6:44
5 Witchcraft 6:04
6 What Now My Love 5:35
7 Don`t Worry `Bout Me 6:19
8 Falling In Love With Love 5:19
9 Angel Eyes 6:09


Byron Landham – drums
Melvin Sparks – guitar
Joey DeFrancesco – organ
Houston Person – tenor saxophone


Label: HighNote Records, Inc. – HCD 7105
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2004
Recorded: August 5, 1998