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Frank Vignola: Deja Vu

Jim Santella By

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Songs by Cream, Carole King, Bob Marley, Isaac Hayes, Elvis Costello, David Crosby, Sting, and John Lennon make up much of Frank Vignola's latest album. The guitarist treats them with respect, offering familiar melodies and standard rhythms while stepping up occasionally to improvise. Vignola's smooth guitar sound embellishes each favorite tune; he's supported by drums, electric bass, keyboards, and group background vocals. Vignola, whose improvisation has a mild Country & Western quality, studied banjo, and at age 14 won the Grand National Banjo Championship in Canada. Deja Vu is the New York native's fourth album as a leader.

Chick Corea's "Spain" sits atop Joe Ascione's mechanical programmed drum pattern and a throbbing electric bass counterpoint, as Vignola's guitar provides the melody. John Lennon's "Imagine" is all melody with a backbeat; Vignola treats them right. His improvisation isn't fiery or flashy; rather, the guitarist prefers to maintain an adult contemporary, soft rock approach. The restrained emotion and attention to lyrical melodies makes D'j' vu pleasurable.

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

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