Joey DeFrancesco - Live: The Authorized Bootleg

Concord Jazz

Recording date: April 2006, recorded live at Yoshi's, Oakland, CA
Release date 6th March 2007

 The Authorised Bootleg cover

Selected from music recorded over four nights of concerts in April 2006 at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland, California, "Live: The Authorised Bootleg" adds George Coleman to Joey DeFrancesco's B3 Hammond trio (made up of Jake Langley (guitar) and Byron Landham (drums)) to devastating effect. Those who have claimed George Coleman as an under appreciated genius of the jazz of the past forty years (see, for example, our reviews of Herbie Hancock's
"Maiden Voyage"
and Miles Davis' "The Complete Concert 1964") could not have expected that at 71 he would have been quite as resplendent in his mastery of technique and musical imagination as this. From the opening bars of the classic Ray Noble composition "Cherokee", it is clear that nothing of that vision and artistry has been dimmed by the years as the quartet is set off on a blistering run through the bebop classic that formed the template for so many of Charlie Parker's explorations. Joey DeFrancesco is more than a match for this and responds with dazzling keyboard runs.

The undoubted highlight comes next - a version of Lee Morgan's "Ceora" which is long and sustained with a reminder that George Coleman's playing on this latin inspired mid tempo piece is second to none. It is the beauty of his tone coupled with the melodic innovation which as on "Maiden Voyage" is so stunning that sets this apart as one of the finest recorded performances on sax. Jake Langley contributes an intelligent guitar solo before Joey DeFrancesco further develops the mood with a B3 solo that is fluid and expressive.

The standard "I'm In The Mood For Love" introduces vocalist Collen McNabb for this one track with George Coleman sitting out and is of no real importance to those interested in instrumental jazz.

George Coleman returns for extended versions of three jazz standards – Kaper Bronislaw and Ned Washington's "On Green Dolphin Street", Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Little Girl Blue" and Joseph Kosma's "Autumn Leaves". After forty years or so of these tunes being played by so many in the jazz world it is difficult to think what new could be achieved with them, but once again the septuagenarian delights and surprises. "On Green Dolphin Street" develops into an uptempo workout with occasionally overblown dissonances; "Little Girl Blue" is declaimed with such beauty and controlled lyricism that it is completely reinterpreted; "Autumn Leaves" starts from the simple statement of that so well known melody and spins out into in a joyous, uplifting anthem that completes the album.

Simply one of the finest recent jazz releases. Very highly recommended.

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