165

Vivino Brothers Blues Band: Vivino Brothers Blues Band

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
The Vivino Brothers (guitarist Jimmy and reedman Jerry) front one of the most in-demand session bands in blues today. The brothers also claim one of the best gigs in New York City: They're integral members of the Max Weinberg Seven, Conan O'Brien's house band on NBC. By night Jimmy Vivino is Conan's chief musical arranger. By day he works as a first-call producer (Shemekia Copeland, Son Seals, Johnnie Johnson, Phoebe Snow).

Vivino Brothers Blues Band is actually the duo's third release overall, their second for DMP, and their first as part of an official "blues band." It's also their best. This is a polished yet lively mix of blues, R&B and jazz that's about half instrumentals, half vocal tracks. At times the group sounds like a TV house band, but its live-in-the-studio approach lends the music a very soulful cast.

Original funk-blues instrumentals ("Fat Burns," "Itchin' & Scratchin'") are interspersed with straight-ahead blues classics (Lowell Fulson's "Sinner's Prayer") and old R&B warhorses (Little Richard''s "Slippin' & Slidin'," Curtis Mayfield's "Pusher Man," and Sly Stone's "Family Affair"). Jimmy Vivnino's best vocal performance comes on Lil Green's "Knockin' Myself Out," a 60-year-old acoustic blues tune with a timeless message about substance abuse. Van Morrison's "Feedback Out on Highway 101" is righteously soulful and arguably the best performance on the album. Guided by Jerry Vivino's slippery sax, the instrumental "Livin' In Vain" starts out slowly but skids into a rousing chorus thanks to Brian Charette's funky piano and soul-blasting organ. And Jerry Vivino blows some tasty flute on a fine instrumental treatment of "Pusher Man."

Listening to the Vivinos and their four partners, it's easy to understand why Hubert Sumlin, Johnnie Johnson and other blues stars choose to play with these cats. There's no style of blues or R&B the Vivinos can't play, and their considerable talent never lessens the soul quotient.


Track Listing: Fat Burns; Slippin' & Slidin'; Pusher Man; Knockin' Myself Out; P.D. Bop; Jealous Kind; Feedback Out on Highway 101; Livin; in Vain; Itchin' & Scratchin'; Sinner's Prayer; Family Affair

Personnel: Jimmy Vivino (guitar, piano, vocals); Jerry Vivino (sax, flute, clarinet, vocals); Michael Merritt (bass); James Wormworth (drums, washboard); Fred Walcott (percussion); Brian Charette (organ, piano)

| Record Label: DMP Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Uh Oh!" CD/LP/Track Review Uh Oh!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Molto Bene" CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!