Like most such facile categorizing, 'child prodigy' usually ends up being a dead end rather than a means to explore the subject at hand. In the case of Joey Alexander, it's a disservice precisely because it's so restrictive: if he proves anything on his second album, it is that he will not be confined. Quite the contrary, the thirteen year-old pianist and composer challenges himself on multiple fronts on Countdown. He not only chooses to play with other musicians, including bassist Larry Grenadier (Pat Metheny, Brad Mehldau) and saxophonist Chris Potter (Dave Douglas, Dave Holland), thereby allowing himself to assimilate technique, but he also takes the risk of involving both of them on an extended foray into Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage;" their detailed exploration of both the melody and rhythm reveals why it's so durable a composition and why the threesome are so simpatico.
The debut album from jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander, 2015's My Favorite Things showcases the 11-year-old's stunning keyboard virtuosity. Joining Alexander here is a mix of older and younger associates, including journeyman bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. Also backing Alexander on various tracks are bassist Russell Hall, drummer Sammy Miller, and up-and-coming firebrand trumpeter Alphonso Horne. Working with Grammy-winning producer Jason Olaine, who previously helmed albums by such jazz luminaries as Roy Hargrove, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and others, Alexander delivers a handful of jazz standards and songs culled from the American Popular Songbook in adroit, acoustic, swinging fashion.
Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco personify the Jazz Organ Renaissance that is sweeping the world in this incredible recording for Concord. Organists have paired up before in recording studios but never in such a historical effort. Unlike Jack and Joey’s last double organ session which was live, this recording offered more artistic control. Concord wisely permitted Jack to put together the charts and gave Joey the bass duties to lessen the load. This album was recorded in New York City, NY, on December 11 & 12, 1995.
Extending the good vibes created out of their first pairing on the live recording Incredible!, organists Joey Defrancesco and Jimmy Smith get down to business on Legacy. The two stellar and funky musicians have a great musical rapport and seem to really enjoy playing together. Fans of Incredible! will most likely find much to enjoy here. The album has a heavy Latin sound with percussionists Ramon Banda and Jose "Joey" de Leon supplying additional timbales and conga rhythms respectively. Also joining in this time around is special guest tenor saxophonist James Moody, who adds his fiery bop chops to "Jones'n for Elvin." Backing Defrancesco and Smith here are bassist Tony Banda, guitarist Paul Bollenback, and drummer Steve Ferrone.