2

Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo: Melody Magic

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
In the same adventurous spirit as Polkastra's "I Do" The Wedding Album (Ancalagon, 2013), a spirit that transcends genre, style, and even musical phyla, guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, using the vehicle of the Hot Club gypsy swing jazz to transform a recital ranging from Beethoven and Bizet to The Beatles and Sting. Vignola provides the lion's share of arrangements, save for the Beatles' medley of "If I Fell" and "Here, There and Everywhere," which was arranged by guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. Instrumentation is de rigueur—acoustic and spare, employing bass, accordion, and/or violin in turn.

The music is mostly classical, with a true Hot Club reading of Beethoven's "5th Symphony" opening the disc. The pair plays the allegro con brio straight until the interior, whereSpanish and Gypsy influences bleed in, as well as late-romantic sonorities insinuating their way into the performance, making it easy to imagine this music being played in a small café of Paris' Left Bank in the present day. Bizet's "Carmen Habanera" is dispatched with all its hot-blooded passion, again with a parlor feel about it.

Pianist Uri Caine's Wagner e Venezia (Winter & Winter, 1997) and The Sidewalks of New York: Tin Pan Alley (Winter & Winter, 2000) possess this same quality of employing the instruments on hand to perform classical music in a parlor-like environment. The method provides the performer(s) an acute challenge to produce compelling music with instruments not necessarily associated with that music. Like Caine, Vignola rises to this challenge, transforming The Police's "Walking on The Moon" into a neo-reggae acoustic duet.

Melody Magic is "hinge music"—music that incorporates elements not normally associated with it. Recordings like this can go horribly wrong, as evidenced by cut-out bins full of such fare. Vignola and Raniolo, however, dispatch their ranging material with intelligence and care, producing a very satisfying set.

Track Listing

TSymphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio (arr. F. Vignola); Carmen (arr. F. Vignola): Carmen, Act I: Habanera: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (arr. F. Vignola); Scheherazade, Op. 35 (arr. F. Vignola); Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: I. Morning Mood (arr. F. Vignola); If I Fell - Here, There and Everywhere (arr. T. Emmanuel); Dust in the Wind (arr. F. Vignola); Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: I. Allemande (arr. F. Vignola); Violin Concerto in E minor: I. Allegro molto appassionato (arr. F. Vignola); Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a: I. Scene (arr. F. Vignola); Eye of the Tiger (arr. F. Vignola); Walking on the Moon (arr. F. Vignola).

Personnel

Frank Vignola: guitar; Vinny Raniolo: guitar; Mark Egan: bass (1, 2, 4, 8, 9); Julien Labro: accordion (3, 6, 10, 11); Zack Brock: violin (3, 6, 10, 11); Cassie Holden: double bass (3, 10, 11); Mat Wigdon: double bass (6).

Album information

Title: Melody Magic | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Azica Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

More

Anthropic Neglect
José Lencastre / Jorge Nuno / Felipe Zenícola /...
A Conversation
Tim Hagans-NDR Big Band
Die Unwucht
Christopher Kunz & Florian Fischer
In Space
The Luvmenauts

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.