255

Frank Vignola: Deja Vu

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Vignola: Deja Vu Here's a talented young guitarist who probably hasn't sold as much product as his label would like. So the label conceives of a concept album aimed at boomers and fuzak lovers. And what do graying boomers and fuzak lovers want? Jazz-lite versions of classic rock and pop songs.

Frank Vignola has gone smooth on us. This is a disappointing development given that Vignola's last release, Look Right, Jog Left, was a very satisfying fusion effort.

I'll admit that some of these rock-to-jazz projects are likable (check out Fareed Haque's own Deja Vu ), but most are lamentable. Frank Vignola's Deja Vu is mostly the latter.

As smooth jazz goes, this CD is OK. Vignola's guitar work is fiery and bluesy, and the tunes are pleasantly funky and reassuringly familiar. But with the strings-like background synths, occasional electronic beats, unobtrusive drums, and sentimental tinkling chimes, Deja Vu is aptly titled: we've been here before, and too many times.

There are a couple of tunes here that I might dub onto a cassette to lighten the mood. For instance, the version of Cream's "White Room" is likably George Benson-ish, and Carol King's "It's Too Late" works well in a pop-jazz context. But most of this CD is Prozac for the ears. The insipid vocal chorus on Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" spoils a nice guitar solo. The drum programming on Chick Corea's "Spain" is annoying. Other tunes covered include Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You," John Lennon's "Imagine," Sting's "Walking On The Moon," Elvis Costello's "Alison," and Kansas's "Dust In The Wind."

You really can't blame Vignola or Concord for trying to make a few bucks, but here's hoping Deja Vu buys Frank Vignola a more challenging project next time around.

Title: Déjà Vu | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Original Jazz Classics


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Xabregas 10" CD/LP/Track Review Xabregas 10
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Wonders" CD/LP/Track Review Wonders
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.