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Recognize that tune? Of course you do! It’s the theme from The Godf-
Okay- so maybe this type of intro doesn’t work so well in print. But one thing which does work is this album!
No plaintive strings or weeping accordion. No way. This is jazz. Jazz that swings like DiMaggio and pops like a Tommy gun.
Combining the formidable Hammond chops (did someone say "chops"?) of Mr. DeFrancesco with the scatty strums of Frank Vignola and the brushy rhtyhms of his recurrent band mate Joe Ascione (who also wrote all of the original tunes on the album), Goodfellas is a family album with plenty to go around. The tortellini-ed trio’s turn on "Volare" is beyond lounge and their burbly Basie-based "Fly Me To The Moon" is stellar. Other covers include a lush romantic twirl through Sammy Cahn’s "All The Way," a tender "Young At Heart" and a sleepy "O Solo Mio" that would make Luciano sweat out a dance. Ascione sets the beat for a surfy rhumba of "Malafemmena" while his paisanos pitch in with churning strings and stuttering keys. DeFrancesco even takes a shot at Monk’s "Evidence." In an effort to give the drummer some, Ascione is given the role of capo for his arpeggiated explanation "Ya See What I’m Sayin’?" and his reprised swinger "Whack ‘Em" (paired the second time around with thte traditional "Tarantella"). However, like any good family, his boys are never far behind.
So don’t be a wiseguy. Go hear the Goodfellas. It’s an album you can’t re- nevermind!
Track Listing: 1. Speak Softly Love
3. Fly Me to the Moon
4. All the Way
5. Whack 'Em
6. Mala Femmena
7. Young at Heart
8. O Solo Mio
11. Ya See What I'm Sayin?
12. Whack 'Em [Reprise]/Tarentella
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.