Combining monstrous chops with a flair for showmanship and an unquenchable urge to burn, Joey DeFrancesco almost single-handedly put the Hammond B-3 back in the public eye. Today, organ aficionados regard him as the “baddest B-3 burner in the business.” A claim supported by his five consecutive Down Beat Critics Poll Awards. With over twenty solo releases and historic associations with legends such as Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, and John McLaughlin, DeFrancesco’s place in the idiom’s history is cemented. Joey DeFrancesco has come a long way since All of Me, his recording debut as a leader made in 1989 as a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old. From the get-go, the Philadelphia native established his credentials with virtuoso technique and an innate soulfulness that he brought to bear on the hulking Hammond B-3 organ. Through the 1990s, DeFrancesco was widely recognized as spearheading a renewed interest in the Hammond organ, an instrument that had fallen out of favor among musicians and the public since its golden period during the 1960s and early ’70s.
“With each visit to Chicago … Joey DeFrancesco seems to attain another, still-more-remarkable degree of technical fluidity.” — Chicago Tribune
“Joey DeFrancesco is rightfully known as an incredibly talented organ player. He’s got an array of solid CDs that document his rise to the top. He can fit into any setting, from hard bop to the electronic funk of 1980s Miles Davis. He can swing a room of lead balloons … He’s had the audacity to usurp his idol, the legendary Jimmy Smith, atop annual critics’ polls … [and] critics and observers say he’s responsible for the re-birth of the Hammond B-3 and organ music’s place in jazz.” — All About Jazz
“No less significant in the story of Joey’s ascendancy is the ability he has shown to create excitement. The tension he is capable of building brings back to mind a tradition that began some fifty years ago, when Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts began stirring up audiences around the country.” — Leonard Feather