JOEY DEFRANCESCO — In The Key Of The Universe

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JOEY DEFRANCESCO - In The Key Of The Universe cover
4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2019

Filed under Post Bop
By JOEY DEFRANCESCO

Tracklist

1 Inner Being 5:18
2 Vibrations In Blue 6:42
3 Awake And Blissed 3:01
4 It Swung Wide Open 3:54
5 In The Key Of The Universe 5:05
6 The Creator Has A Master Plan 11:00
7 And So It Is 7:52
8 Soul Perspective 5:30
9 A Path Through The Noise 4:47
10 Easier To Be 5:15

Line-up/Musicians

Organ, Keyboards, Trumpet – Joey DeFrancesco
Tenor Saxophone – Pharoah Sanders
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Acoustic Bass – Troy Roberts
Percussion – Sammy Figueroa
Drums – Billy Hart

About this release

Mack Avenue MAC1147 (US)

Recorded At Tempest Recording

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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JOEY DEFRANCESCO IN THE KEY OF THE UNIVERSE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
With a title like "In the Key of the Universe", and promotional advertising that plays up Pharoh Sanders' contributions on saxophone, it would be easy to think that Joey DeFrancesco is trying to cash in on the current 'spiritual jazz' revival on his new album. Its true that there are some tunes on here that reference Sanders' past as the originator of the spiritual modal jazz style, but none of this is gratuitous or insincere, and there is also such a wide variety of music on here that the modal jams are just a part of what goes down. Also, Sanders only appears on a couple tracks, elsewhere on here the very capable Troy Roberts supplies the tenor, alto and soprano sax work. In short, 'In the Key' is one of Joey's better albums and is rife with inspired solos and top notch song writing.

DeFrancesco's rapid fire solos take the Coltrane idea of 'sheets of sound' to new levels on the Hammond B3. This is used to good effect on the energetic post bop of "Awake and Blissed", and then given a double dose on the bebop barn burner, "It Swung Wide Open". The next couple tracks feature Pharoh, who still sounds as great as ever, as he takes a somewhat laid back and mature approach to classic material such as "The Creator has a Master Plan". Some other highlights include a couple of mystical samba lounge outings and a few hard groove blues numbers.

On the two closing tracks, Joey caps things off with something we don't hear often enough, really interesting melodies set to non-cliche chord changes. Both of these songs would make for great vehicles for others to try out their creativity on. The production is a little heavy on the reverb, which sounds fine on the groove numbers, but a bit heavy handed on the uptempo ones.

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