There are probably better uses for a time machine — but if you could drop in on the band room at Philadelphia’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts, sometime in the late 1980s, you’d encounter some historic jazz talent in the making. I’m referring in particular to the untouchable organ virtuoso Joey DeFrancesco and the irreproachable bassist Christian McBride.
They were musical brothers then, bound by a deep love of the jazz tradition and the impressive scope of their youthful abilities. And while each has followed his own path since — leading bands, making albums, achieving preeminence in the field — that fraternal bond hasn’t faded or faltered. So for this soulful episode of Jazz Night in America, it was only fitting that McBride, our host, reconnects with DeFrancesco in the City of Brotherly Love.
Over the course of the show, we’ll hear music from some sharp, recent DeFrancesco gigs at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, as well as a taste of his spiritually-minded new album, In the Key of the Universe. And we’ll hear what it sounds like when a couple of outspoken Philly cats lock into a groove. Pull up a chair and enjoy some reminiscing, some reflecting, some repartee — even a bit of spontaneous singing — as Chris McB catches up with Joey D.