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...

7

Gary Smulyan & Dominic Chianese: Bella Napoli

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Although Gary Smulyan is arguably the world's greatest baritone saxophonist, does that mean we all want to hear him blow on "Funiculi Funicula?" Is anyone especially eager to learn what world-class jazz players would do with such music, especially if your ancestral homeland isn't shaped like a boot?

The quick answer might be no --- until you learn that Bella Napoli also features six vocals by the estimable Dominic Chianese, probably best known for playing devious Uncle Junior in the hit TV series, "The Sopranos." Although Signore Chianese is in his 80s, his tenor is still accurate and expressive, especially with such caressing support from this superlative and respectful band.

In fact, the uniqueness of this CD lies in its great good humor (the disk itself looks like a mini pizza), and the warm embraces at its heart. There's a tinge of sadness in here too, in its nostalgia for simpler days, traditional sounds, and departed loved ones, including the much-mourned James Gandolfini (aka Tony Soprano), one of those to whom Bella Napoli is dedicated.

While some of the wilder jazz can seem a bit incongruous in this context, it's impossible to be unmoved by the achingly tender version of "O Sole Mio," and the spontaneous a cappella closer, "Santa Lucia Lontana," which tells of leaving Naples for America, as Chianese's father did. Whatever the listener's background, it's easy to enjoy an outing that's so well-played, so free of contrivance, and so rich in soul.

Track Listing: Funiculi Funicula; Anema e Core; Fenestra Che Lucive; Marechiare; Peque; O Sole Mio; O Saracino; A Vucchella: Dicitencello Vuie!; Tre Veglia e Sonno; Santa Lucia Lontana.

Personnel: Dominic Chianese: vocals; Gary Smulyan: Baritone Saxophone; Gary Versace: piano, accordion,; Martin Wind: bass; Matt Wilson: drums; Joe Brent: mandolin, violin.

Title: Bella Napoli | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Capri Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli

Capri Records
2014

buy
Gary Smulyan / Dominic Chianese: Bella Napoli

Gary Smulyan /...

Capri Records
2013

buy
Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli

Capri Records
2013

buy
Smul's Paradise

Smul's Paradise

Capri Records
2012

buy
High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine

High Noon: The Jazz...

Reservoir Music
2009

buy
More Treasures

More Treasures

Reservoir Music
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait CD/LP/Track Review
Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Lost Days CD/LP/Track Review
Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Cabin In The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Higher CD/LP/Track Review
Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "Enso" CD/LP/Track Review Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)" CD/LP/Track Review Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)
by John Kelman
Published: June 6, 2018
Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017