Frank Vignola Guitar Night – Thursday, September 26th marked the inaugural evening of a jazz guitar fest with enough of a 6 (and 7 string) guitar menu to satisfy anyone’s appetite.
Frank Vignola Guitar Night By Ray Matuza
Billed as “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night”, Birdland’s new once a month event featuring Frank at the helm with Gary Mazzaroppi on bass and Vince Cherico on drums joined by a plethora of featured resident players and guests. With guitarists extraordinaire Jimmy Bruno and Howard Alden, the guys opened up with a swinging rendition of the Sam Jones tune “Bittersweet” complete with harmonized melody and continued to blaze their way through a set including “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “All Blues”.
Fin born guitarist Olli Sokkeli joined in on “Seven Come Eleven” only to be followed on stage by Frank’s right-hand man Vinny Raniolo and Ken Smith on “Cheek to Cheek”, Strictly Confidential” and a host of others. That’s 37 guitar strings (Howard plays a 7 string) on stage at one time! The set ended with Charlie Parker’s “Segment”, again with harmonized melody and takin’ it to the rafters with solos and trading fours.
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