Last Call Record Reviews

Apr 20, 2019

Joey DeFranceso/In The Key Of The Universe/Mack Avenue 

An organist known worldwide for his ability to swing, Joey DeFrancesco takes a very different direction into spiritually inspired jazz music. In The Key Of The Universe presents DeFrancesco with an outstanding band, including legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, one of the great saxophonists of the Free Jazz movement of the 1960s. While solidly rooted in the DeFrancesco organ groove, the session reaches for the cosmos and takes the listener along. Highlights include "The Creator Has A Master Plan", which features a mesmerizing introduction by Pharaoh Sanders, leading into an elegant presentation of his acclaimed number with DeFrancesco and Sanders holding a musical conversation accentuated by Sander's vocal performance of the number. Other bright moments include include “Vibrations In Blue”, “In The Key Of The Universe”, “And So It Is”, and more. The date seamlessly shifts from contemplative moments to cosmic crescendos that demonstrate DeFrancesco’s abilities as an organist(and as a trumpeter) at an entirely new level. Personnel for this date include Joey DeFrancesco: organ, trumpet; Pharoah Sanders: tenor saxophone, vocal; Troy Roberts: soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, bass; Sammy Figueroa: percussion; Billy Hart: drums. Truly a new height of musical artistry for the organist who has performed and recorded to enthusiastic audiences for several decades and has interacted with a galaxy of acclaimed jazz stars. DeFrancesco's meeting with legendary saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders is not to be missed.

On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis/Ear Up Records 

In a recording that he is uniquely qualified to make, legendary saxophonist David Liebman pays a tribute to the music of trumpeter Miles Davis, who he worked with in the 1970s. The music of Miles Davis at that time was itself a truly radical departure & shocking to many. Davis took his music into a full throttle embrace of rock & funk with open ended song formats, based on African rhthymic pulses.  For fans of the legendary trumpeter’s electric period, Liebman, who performed with Miles Davis in the 1970s, is featured in relentless, thrilling performances on selections including “In A Silent Way”, “On The Corner”, “Black Satin” and more, in addition to opening remarks from Liebman about Miles Davis. The disc itself is a result of Liebman's one night recording in Febrary 2015 with fellow saxophonist and bandleader Jeff Coffin, an accomplished bandleader and educator in his own right, with Victor Wooten on the bass, Chester Thompson, drums, Chris Walters on piano and James DaSilva on guitar. The concert recording features songs that Davis originally presented in the 1970s and specifically on his recording On the Corner, but with a modern update. Highly recommended.
A tireless artist, educator and bandleader, David Liebman is one of today's leading Jazz artists. Liebman is one of the foremost post John Coltrane soprano saxophonists, as well as a top tenor man and flutist and educator. He has over 200 recordings to his credit, many with groups he has led over the last several decades.

Listen to an interview with David Liebman