156

Jerry Vivino: Walkin' With The Wazmo

By

Sign in to view read count
Jerry Vivino: Walkin' With The Wazmo Multi-reed player Jerry Vivino should be a familiar face to many due to his long-term membership in the Max Weinberg 7, the band that provides the music for Late Night with Conan O'Brien five days a week on NBC. Most of his partners on this new album are connected with the Max Weinberg group or the Saturday Night Live band. Vivino has been a busy studio musician for years and has co-led the Vivino Brothers Band with his brother Jimmy (also a member of the Max Weinberg 7).

Vivino has played in the New York area in many guises of popular music: pop, funk, rock, R&B and jazz. When singer Keely Smith appeared on the Conan O'Brien Show, she asked for a saxophonist who could play in the style of Sam Butera (the longtime musical director/saxophonist for Louis Prima). Smith was so impressed that she worked with Vivino for several years.

Although he has appeared on scores of albums, this is only Vivino's second recording as a leader. The eleven original tracks showcase his many approaches and styles, and the liner notes maintain that the artist considers himelf to be in the "Louis Armstrong-Louis Prima-Louis Jordan" lineage.

Walkin' With The Wazmo begins with a version of Sonny Rollins' "Pent Up House," followed by the title tune, a hook-laden jump blues with vocals that indeed could have appeared in the Louis Jordan Tympany Five songbook. Unfortunately, the catchy piece seems to be a "one joke" riff that goes on for almost five minutes. Guest trumpeter Lew Soloff appears on two tracks, the bop-style "Cats 'R' Us," where he rips into a high register solo, and "Red Moon," where he plays with a plunger and sounds like a millennium version of Bubber Miley.

Vivino also makes several appearances on flute. On effective Latin lite tune "Dorado Beach" he is joined by percussionist Fred Walcott. Brian Charette takes a turn on the Hammond B-3 on the funkified "The Fried Piper," which reminds me of Hubert Laws' 1970s CTI material when he was seeking a pop/fusion audience. Jerry Vivino also shows the vocal side of his talents on two tracks, the Louis Jordan standard "Knock Me A Kiss" and the love song "I'm Mad About You," co-written with Ken Levinsky, who accompanies the saxophonist on piano.

These versatile musicians play in a variety of settings on the album, much as the members of the other late-night musical aggregations would. It would be easy to imagine ensembles led by Paul Shaffer or Kevin Eubanks making a similar album. As a leader and soloist, Vivino seems clearly aligned with an R&B influence. Without too much effort, I can picture him in a setting from fifty years ago, "walking the bar" with Willis "Gatortail" Jackson.


Track Listing: Pent Up House; Walkin' with the Wazmo; Cats 'R' Us; Dorado Beach; Montelena Circle; The Fried Piper; Knock Me A Kiss; Red Moon; Bellissima; Dolphin Dance; I'm Mad About You.

Personnel: Jerry Vivino: tenor, alto saxophone, flute & vocals; Brian Charette: piano (1,3-5), Hammond B-3 organ; Ken Livinsky: piano (11); Lew Solof: trumpet (3,8); Michael Morreale: trumpet (2,7); Mike Fahn: trombone (1,5,7); Kermit Driscoll: bass (1,3,5,8,9); Mike Merrit: bass (2,6,4,7,10); Shhawn Pelton: drums (1,3,5,8-9); James Wormworth: drums (2,4,6,7,10); Ray Marchia: drums (11); Fred Walcott: percussion (4,6); Jimmy Vivino: guitar (2); Peter McCan: guitar (9): Greg Skaff: guitar (11); Tony Ferrari: vocals (2).

Title: Walkin' with the Wazmo | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "As It Should Be: Ballads 2" CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.