All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
"I like a Gershwin tune," Frank Sinatra sings on the Burton Reed/Ralph Freed classic, "How About You." Guitarist Frank Vignola apparently loves a Gershwin tune, passionately.
Vignolawith twelve CDs as a leader under his beltis a versatile musician who sites an array of influences: Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Christian. On Vignola Plays Gershwin he leans in a swinging gypsy direction, bringing a Django vibe to fourteen George Gershwin melodies.
The guitarist's quartet includes Joe Ascione on drums, bassist Tom Kennedy and guitarist Corey Christiansen, who supplies the crisp rhythms behind Vignola. The tunes are all the familiar classics: "I Got Rhythm," "Summertime," "S'Wonderful," "Our Love is Here to Stay," "Fascinating Rhythm, "How Long Has This Been Going On," and more. The band swings hard. It's a reverent, loving elevation of one of America's master songwriters. The group attacks "I Got Rhythm" with a joyous fever; they relax into a smooth flow on "Nice Work If You Can Get It," and put a zippy sting into "Fascinating Rhythm."
I'm struck by Vignola's technical virtuosity. It sounds as if he's incapable of hitting even a slightly wrong sound; and it's a warm, breathing virtuosity that feels spontaneous and fresha comfortable and supremely confident-in-his-artistic-skin player.
If America has ever turned out a finer melodist than George Gershwin, I haven't heard him. Frank Vignola and his band play the man's music with a beautiful zest.
Track Listing: I Got Rhythm; Summertime; S' Wonderful; Our Love Is Here To Stay; They Can't Take That Away From Me; The
Man I Love; Somebody Loves Me; Strike Up The Band; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Fascinating Rhythm;
Embraceable You; Lady Be Good; How Long Has This Been Going On.
Personnel: Frank Vignola: guitar; Joe Ascione: drums; Tom Kennedy: bass; Corey Christiansen: guitar.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.