JazzTimes - 5/00, pp.152-3
"...[This] album...takes me back to a dinner in a mobbed-up restaurant in Newark's Vailsburg section....big plates of food, kids running [around], laughter, Frank, Ray, Louie Prima, Jimmy Smith playing on the jukebox....[it's] all about stretching out, courting the joy of surprise, upping the bar."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/00, p.105
"...you'll find yourself enjoying it way more than you think you should. It's corny as hell, as cool as it comes and in places laugh-out-loud funny..."
Joey DeFrancesco's Goodfellas: Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond B-3 organ); Frank Vignola (guitar); Joe Ascione (drums).
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California on March 17 & 18, 1998. Includes liner notes by John Burk & Pete "The Nose" Fallico.
You take three Italian-American jazz musicians (organist Joey DeFrancesco, guitarist Frank Vignola, drummer Joe Ascione), put 'em together in a studio, toss out a concept (in this case, a selection of songs that are Italian pop standards associated with singers with names like Sinatra, Bennett, and Martino, and movies about organized crime), and let 'em cook.
DeFrancesco possesses that big, rich, blues-charged Hammond B-3 organ sound out of Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff--a few notes can cushion an entire room. Vignola carries on in the jazz guitar tradition of Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass, but injects it with some sharp blues and rock touches--listen to him sizzle on "Malafemmena." And Ascione isn't just the timekeeper--he plays on an equal level with the others, with crisp, multi-rhythmic drumming that adds a real spark to the proceedings. But the three can take it easy, too--listen to the espresso-rich ballad "Young at Heart" and the way they take the blues to Sicily on "O Solo Mio." For fans of the classic jazz organ style, as well as those who want to hear where Medeski, Martin & Wood got it from, GOODFELLAS will be as satisfying as a great Italian meal.