Frank Vignola’s Gypsy Jazz Jam

by | Jan 11, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Frank Vignola’s Gypsy Jazz Jam

Studio: Mel Bay Publications MB20087DVD
Video: 4:3 color
Audio: PCM stereo
Length: 45 minutes
Rating: **1/2

This video will mainly be of interest to gypsy jazz guitarists and aficionados interested in seeing some informal jamming on such gypsy jazz standards as Nuages, Besame Mucho and Dark Eyes. The visuals are pretty loose – a backstage look at Vignola and some of his guitarist friends in solos, duos and trios. The surroundings look like a small hotel room; one can see people in another apartment across the alley thru the window. Focus is rather soft and lighting not professional. The camera drops down across the bed at one point as though it’s going to show something under it, then tilts up again.The phone even rings once in the middle of one piece!

The sound is OK, but there is no string bass or drums. On a few of the tracks someone plays with brushes only on a music stand or later some phone books. Vignola is a great guitarist and it’s nice to see him in action informally like this. His friends are described as some of the world’s foremost gypsy jazz guitarists but are not identified anywhere on the package or on the Mel Bay web site.

Those interested might do better downloading the video at the melbay.com web site – the cost then is only $3.95 instead of $24.95. However, you will need a broadband connection, it uses Windows Media Format, is not cross-platform (PCs only), and it allows viewing it up to 15 times before the DRM evidently locks it out.

TrackList: Warm-Ups, Pent-Up House, Besame Mucho, Exactly Like You, Tico Tico, Czardas, Nuages, Besame Mucho (again), It Don’t Mean a thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Endless Love, Traditional Gypsy Waltz, Limehouse Blues, Dark Eyes

– John Henry

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