All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Vinny Raniolo: Air Guitar

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Now here's something that brings fresh meaning to the idea of an artist piloting an album. Virtuoso guitarist and avid aviator Vinny Raniolo uses his debut leader date as an opportunity to fly the friendly skies, putting his ax to good use on an aerial-themed program with a pleasantly straightforward outlook.

While Raniolo has come to be known for his associations with other skilled six-stringers—Tommy Emmanuel, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Frank Vignola, to cite three—he doesn't take one on as a copilot for this venture. Instead he turns to bassist Elias Bailey, and together they remind us how many classics move skyward in their stories and/or metaphoric trajectories.

This nimble duo wastes no time in getting down to business in the fun and familiar. An appropriately happy-go-lucky "Come Fly With Me" sets the scene while saluting 'Ol Blue Eyes and conjuring thoughts of a carefree lifestyle. Then a parade of chestnuts follows—a "Flying Down To Rio" that's tight and lighthearted, a "Blue Skies" that moves from a mellow tempo to Mach 2, a "Leaving On A Jet Plane" with an island tinge, and two more handfuls of volitant vehicles.

While Raniolo impresses on the burners, they're not his only strength; the ballads in the mix—numbers like "Stardust" and "Skylark"—tend to please in equal proportions. With some of these selections the guitarist automatically points toward his instrumental forefathers—Charlie Christian through "Air Mail Special," Django Reinhardt with "Nuages"—but he doesn't ape them. He's simply absorbed what those masters created, a fact that's evident in the way his agile fingers do their work. And with Bailey walking lines with quick steps, providing vitality through solos, moving in tandem with Raniolo, and adding musical retorts, another layer of sophistication emerges in this music.

Once this duo establishes its m.o., it holds that course straight on to the horizon. It's a line toward a single and specific sight, but what a beautiful vista it is. Raniolo and Bailey are all class, and this album makes that case again and again.

Track Listing: Come Fly With Me; Flying Down To Rio; Blue Skies; Leaving On A Jet Plane; Test Pilot; Airmail Special; Stardust; Fly Me To The Moon; Flying Home; Nuages; Volare; Let's Fly Away; East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon); Come Josephine In My Flying Machine.

Personnel: Vinny Raniolo: guitar; Elias Bailey: bass.

Title: Air Guitar | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Meerkat Parade" CD/LP/Track Review Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "I Speilvendthet" CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Chansons Du Crepuscule" CD/LP/Track Review Chansons Du Crepuscule
by Don Phipps
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane" CD/LP/Track Review Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Involution" CD/LP/Track Review Involution
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 6, 2018