Uncut - 1/04, p.1244 stars out of 5
- "'Doggs' feels his way through standards in a ghostly, androgynous waver, reminiscent of his hero and friend, the legendary Jimmy Scott. David Lynch fans will love it."
Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond b-3 organ); Jeff Hamilton , Byron Landham (drums); Joe Doggs (vocals); Pat Martino, Ron Eschete, Kevin Eubanks (guitar); Ralph Moore, Red Holloway (tenor saxophone); Elijah Davis (trumpet); Ramon Banda (congas).
Audio Mixer: Seth Presant.
Recording information: Capitol Studio A (05/29/2002-05/30/2002).
Photographer: Carlo Tallarico.
Arranger: Joe Doggs.
Is this still young but nearly legendary hipster, who almost singlehandedly rekindled jazz's interest in the Hammond B-3 organ, going to the dogs? The folks at Concord Records hope so, sending out a doggie biscuit with their press materials as DeFrancesco gives one of his favorite East Coast jazz singers, Joe Doggs, a prominent spotlight. Doggs' soulful vocals (praised in the liner notes by Quincy Jones and very reminiscent of the passionate Jimmy Scott experience) and fresh, expansive arrangements are at the cool, swinging heart of the collection's 11 cherished standards. Between vocal passages, the organ great also continues his long tradition of working with top trad jazz names like Pat Martino, tenorman Red Holloway, drummer Jeff Hamilton (complementing DeFrancesco's core trio member Byron Landham), and Kevin Eubanks. "All or Nothing at All" rolls along at eight minutes, with DeFrancesco's B-3 simmering coolly under Doggs' sweet seductive vocals before swinging harder during the playful instrumental break punctuated by Martino's crisp guitar solo. The same basic principles embrace the easy, strutting take on the Gershwins' "But Not for Me," with DeFrancesco's lively soloing giving way to a fiery tenor spotlight by Holloway. Other standards given the royal treatment are "Love for Sale," "Dearly Beloved," and "My Romance." Next time when you hear the term "Dogg style," you may think beyond Snoop Dogg and the more vulgar connotations. ~ Jonathan Widran