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The 2000 Series. No, this is not the 2000 World Series, handily won by the New York Yankees. This is the contemporary jazz series being produced by German Label Nagel-Heyer. When I say contemporary jazz, I mean that in the temporal sense. It is music being freshly composed and performed today. The majority of Nagel-Heyer's catalog is devoted to Traditional Jazz, a la Louis Armstrong and Bix Biederbecke. The newest release in this series is Guitarist Frank Vignola's Off Broadway. Vignola, along with fellow Goodfella Joe Ascione, had most recently been associated with Concord records, but who are now showing up quite regularly at the Nagel-Heyer offices. Off Broadway is a delightful, mainstream jazz recording that showcases Vignola's precise and simple guitar playing on a collection of originals and standards.
Drummer Joe Ascione contributes the majority of originals. These include the title tune, which is illuminated by the superb flute playing of Basie Alum Frank Wess. Vignola turns in a brilliant acoustic solo. Ascione demonstrates the ability of compose tunes of great beauty and complexity. Among the standards are a melancholy "Stars Fell On Alabama", a thoughtful "Stardust", and a rollicking "Cooking At the Continental" (Randy Sandke Tears it up). A super recital by all concerned.
Track Listing: Funny How; Stars Fell On Alabama I; Off Broadway; Limone's Blues; The Return; Stardust; Sing That; Cookin' At The Continental; Never, Never; Annie; In The Hills; Frankly Speaking; Stars Fell On Alabama; It's Alright With Me; What's Up. (Total Time: 57:25)
Personnel: Frank Vignola: Guitars; Randy Sandke: Trumpet; Frank Wess: Tenor Saxophone, Flute; Roland Hanna: Piano; John Goldsby: Bass; Joe Ascione: Drums.