During a recent three-night stint with chart-owning sax slinger David Sanborn at the premier jazz club on the west coast - Yoshi's in Oakland, California - jazz organ great Joey DeFrancesco spent his sound check with executive editor Stephen Fortner, who was later treated to absolutely one of the most fun, burning sets he's ever seen Sanborn play. Touring in support of Sanborn's latest album Only Everything, the quartet was rounded out by the incomparable Gene Lake on drums, and Ricky Peterson on a Yamaha S-90 and Roland JV-80, playing everything but organ. (Don't miss Ricky's comprehensive lesson on playing Minneapolis-style funk keyboards in our March 2010 issue and this month at keyboardmag.com/lessons, with audio examples!)
Joey D. is playing a clonewheel organ, and for those of you who think that's like Wolfgang Puck cooking with TV dinners and a microwave, just wait 'til you hear it. He's so excited about the sound of the new KeyB - which comes to us from a startup company in Italy - that he's gotten personally involved in evangelizing it in the U.S. We'd normally be a bit skeptical of anyone with a particular product agenda, but Joey D. can play pretty much any organ he wants, and he's choosing this, so we'll let him tell you why himself, and you just may be entertained with burning jazz organ riffs in the bargain.
UPDATE March 3: As promised, we've added two new videos with Ricky Peterson that were still being edited when we first posted this story, so don't miss those!
Can't see the videos below? Click here to open them separately.