Joey Defrancesco Trio 8.24.12
Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge
Word By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
When legendary organ grinder, Joey DeFrancesco passed through Denver, there was one club suited to host such an event. Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge presented two evenings (four shows) with Joey D's Trio and we were fortunate enough to catch the very last of the performances! The trio took the stage inside the intimate club to a half filled room of folks dinning, drinking and anticipating an hour of absolute in your face jazz. A short glance at the fairly extensive menu and our dinner and drinks arrived with a delightfully decorative approach. The lights went down and Music Director Kevin Lee took the stage, as he always does, to welcome everyone to Dazzle, lay down a few straight-forward policies and to introduce the talent. The Trio began and as Joey smiled, I clutched the table, as I knew what we were in for.
The trio came flying out of the gates with wailing instrumentation. This was world-class jazz. Joey's expressive playing was captivating and with the band transitioning on the drop of a dime, there wasn't a dull moment. The chemistry and communication on stage was both clear and light, with all of the members smiling as they dug into complex parts. Beyond the organ, Joey was also featured on trumpet for a portion of the show. On guitar, Steve Cotter flew across the fret board with precision and vigor. On drums, Jeremy Thomas drew in the crowd with his fairly loose style that brought his sticks down on the beat every time. Together, the band showcased selections off of Joey newest album Wonderful! Wonderful! as well as other brilliant straight ahead material.
The hour flew by and as I came out of a jazz trance, I glanced around the room and was shocked that Dazzle wasn't packed. It should have been. This man is a jazz legend who is outputting some of the best straight-ahead work of our time, and the half full club who was clearly captivated, seemed to be in on a secret. It felt odd and also intimate. The standing ovation translated to one album sale at the end of the night. My mind was rattled and my jaw was hanging down as we departed Dazzle. What we had witnessed was easily one of the most enjoyable musical experiences that we had seen in some time.
Carly & J-man's Photos