3

Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo: Melody Magic

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo: Melody Magic Melody Magic is a fun-and-attractive, finely crafted collection of some of the greatest classic(al) music melodies in existence, arranged by one of the most talented, earnest-and-enlightened guitarists in the business today. Frank Vignola, who's worked with everybody from guitar innovator/icon Les Paul to trumpeter/jazz figurehead Wynton Marsalis, and Vinny Raniolo, his young guitar wielding brother-in-arms, join forces here to bring Vignola's arrangements of Bach, Bizet, Beethoven, and a few people whose last names don't start with the letter "b," to life.

Both guitarists have logged plenty of stage hours together, with more than a hundred shared shows under their collective belt, and Melody Magic gives them a chance to studio test a small sampling of tunes taken from their repertoire. Five guest musicians join them at various times, and in various combinations, so this isn't strictly a duo date. In fact, "The Beatles Medley" is the only number that doesn't feature a third—or fourth, or fifth—wheel. That performance is one of several pop-oriented pieces, including an unusually feisty-and-fabulous "Eye Of The Tiger" that features accordionist Julien Labro and violinist Zach Brock, to make the non-classical cut. Others include an understated take on a hit from Jazz Police ("Walking On The Moon") and a nod to Kansas ("Dust In The Wind").

The seven remaining numbers are re-writes of very old favorites, with an emphasis on the work of Romantic-era composers. Vignola sticks to the hits, as he adds propulsive rhythm guitar to instantly recognizable numbers ("Beethoven's Fifth") and brings a sense of lift to the dawn of the day (Grieg's "Morning"). His clean-toned guitar work and stellar chops are at the heart of this project, and Raniolo and the guests show the same allegiance to the idea of acute accuracy and technical precision.

The music that Vignola and Raniolo make can be seen as a jazzier counterpart to the work of the California Guitar Trio but, while that group takes delight in re-investigating a song's majesty in their own way, Vignola and Raniolo are all about recasting this music in their own image. Both men clearly know how to have a good time, but they also take their work very seriously; Melody Magic constantly demonstrates that duality which exists within both men.


Track Listing: Beethoven's Fifth; Carmen Habanera; Scheherazade; Morning; Beatles Medley: If I Fell/Here There And Everywhere; Dust In The Wind; Violin Partita #2; Violin Concerto; Swan Lake Scene I; Eye Of The Tiger; Walking On The Moon.

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).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Azica Records


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by James Nadal
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Everything's Gonna Be Great" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Gonna Be Great
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!