255

Frank Vignola: Deja Vu

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
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.

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Black Ice" CD/LP/Track Review Black Ice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!