Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Frank And Joe Show "33 1/3" 2004

Frank Vignola is a lightning-fast jazz guitarist and Joe Ascione is his talented percussionist partner. Bass, Piano, Trumpet and Violin round out the band on some of the tracks, and Dr. John, Jane Monheit and Janis Siegel guest on one song each.

The recording is very detailed and dynamic. Turn it up. You'll hear more. The sound of the acoustic guitar is particularly well captured. With the right toys, it's like they are in your living room.

Lovely instrumental versions of Begin The Beguine, Tico Tico, Paper Moon, Alone Again Naturally, and Stardust are easy-to-like highlights. Novelties like Spiderman, Mozart Jam, and a blazing Flight Of The Bumblebee do more to show how fast and clean Vignola can play than much else. They're good, if you like that sort of thing.

Janis Siegel's take on Don't Fence Me In is very fine, with Siegel harmonizing with herself to beautiful effect.

But the raison d'etre for this record is the Jane Monheit sung Besame Mucho. The guitar, and Joe's percussion, surround Ms. Monheit's glorious, tension-filled vocal, a mystery of restraint and simmering lust. The recording is one of the finest female vocal presentations available, which makes this an excellent piece of music to evaluate a playback system. Or you can just enjoy a perfect reading of a fine song.

Pretty good record from a musician that sounds his best when he stops trying to show off his talent and just digs in and gets emotive. And it happens fairly often. One song that is too good to miss if you love the female voice.

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