The Frank & Joe Show: 66 2/3 (2005)
Manhattan opens stripped to the basics of percussion and voice. Guest vocalist Jane Monheit floats over the supple hand drums like an impossibly beautiful bird. The added guitar acts like a gentle breeze, propelling the tune gently forward. "Sway, a galloping Latin workout, builds up a healthy head of steam. Original compositions like "After Hours and "Let It Happen tend to be less distinctive. Still impeccably recorded, they sound a little bit like pieces that would be used to sell high-end stereo equipmentsonically rich, but slightly flaccid. I also wish they could have thought of something else for Janis Siegel to sing than "Glow Worm. It's too easy a target to approach sarcastically and too square to approach seriously.
Overall, though, 66 2/3 is a fine second effort from a musically adventurous outfit. The band operates with a welcome sense of humor as well as admirable enthusiasm and musicianship.
Track Listing: It Might As Well Be Spring; My Prayer; Manhattan; Quizas; Sway; Hungarian Dance No. 5; After Hours; Let It Happen; City Samba; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans; Bach Partitia No. 2 For Solo Violin > Mozart Jam; That's All; Glow Worm.
Personnel: Joe Ascione: percussion; Frank Vignola: guitar, bass; Mark Egan: bass; Joel Forbes: bass; Dave Valentin: flute; Jane Monheit: vocals; Janis Siegel: vocals; Rich Zukor: percussion; Gary Mazzaroppi: bass; Ken Smith: rhythm guitar; Chuck Ferruggia: percussion.
Record Label: Hyena Records