Down Beat - 12/00, p.723.5 stars out of 5
- "...Sophisticated and elegant....DeFrancesco's precision and drive are powerful....Fans of DeFrancesco and Jimmy Smith should find it a meal if not a feast..."
JazzTimes - 12/00, pp.118-9
"...Considering the spontaneity of these performances, it's clear that this meeting was a case of empathy and mutual respect..."
Personnel: Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith (Hammond B-3 organ); Paul Bollenback, Phil Upchurch (guitar); Byron Landham, Frank Wilson (drums).
Recorded live at the 1999 San Francisco Jazz Festival, Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, California on October 28, 1999. Includes liner notes by Pete Fallico.
Not since Jimmy Smith's reign in the '50s and '60s--as undisputed king of the Hammond B-3--has a musician electrified the jazz world on the organ like Joey DeFrancesco. Here, in this burning live performance from the 1999 San Francisco Jazz Festival, the new king meets his predecessor in an INCREDIBLE face-off. The recorded result is a stunning document of a truly volcanic night.
The younger organist takes the stage first with a rousing performance of four choice tunes including Smith's own signature "The Champ." This is followed by a bouncing "When You're Smiling," a very relaxed "The Good Life" and an extremely fiery "Back Home In Indiana." DeFrancesco then introduces his hero Smith for their combined performance and the sparks begin to fly as they converge into a two-headed monster, swinging hard and oozing the blues. The pair performs two epic medleys that contain classic tunes that Smith recorded in his golden Blue Note days including his own "The Reverend" and Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas." In the end the audience unites in uproarious applause, exhilarated at the historic meeting of two generations of legendary masters.