Hip Cake Walk

Papa John DeFrancesco

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Hip Cake Walk Review

by Scott Yanow

Papa John DeFrancesco, the father of organist/trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco and guitarist John DeFrancesco II, is an excellent organist in the style of Jimmy Smith. He did not begin to emerge on records until the 1990s, but has made up for lost time through his High Note recordings. This particular set has plenty of blues (including Lalo Schifrin's "The Cat," "Freddy the Freeloader," "Back at the Chicken Shack," and "Hip Cake Walk") along with a few standards and basic chord changes. DeFrancesco, whose two sons are on some of the selections (with Joey on trumpet) is the main voice throughout. The supporting cast includes the fine if obscure tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes. A fun session that is easily recommended to fans of the swinging and bluesy jazz organ.

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