Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mel Bay presents Frank Vignola's Gypsy Jazz Jam|
Actor: Frank Vignola
Director: Frank Vignola
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
This footage is a backstage look at what Frank Vignola and his friends do best: Jam. Some of the world s foremost gypsy jazz guitarists let it all hang out on this very special DVD.
Bob Kasprzak | phila,pa | 11/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of gypsy jazz you must drop what you are doing and GET THIS DVD!!!!!!! It was done both what looks like back stage at Carnegie Hall before the concert and in a hotel room the night after frank and Jimmy Rosenberg played at Carnegie hall and I hope some one has the good sense to release that concert soon on dvd. I've seen tapes of Jimmy playing at five years of age and he was better then than most mature guitar players. This kid was raised in the gypsy culture;immersed in Gypsy jazz from birth. Frank, as far as I know, was raised in New Jersey or New York but if you didn't know that you could easily believe that they were both raised around a Belgian campfire.
I'm a guitar player myself and have had the privilege of spending countless hours during the nineties watching Jimmy Bruno play live around Philly so my standards and expectations are high when it comes to jazz guitar. This DVD has met and exceeded my expectations. Frank and Jimmy, my fedora is off to you! Make more DVDs.
I should also mention the drummer Joe Ashioni(sp?) and violinist, Frederico whose last name I didn't hear. Joe was playing brushes on a stack of Manhattan telephone directories with a manila envelope on top and a music stand and was equally amazing!"
It's almost impossible to appreciate this for what it is
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 06/07/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"To appreciate "Frank Vignola's Gypsy Jazz Jam" as intended would mean that the viewer would cherish seeing this group warm-up in a dressing room in lieu of the actual Carnegie Hall performance. The home audience would also have to be glad that the video and sound source is a hand-held camcorder. Clearly this perspective is absurd. Beyond the ghetto production, the musical content is spirited and showcases the talent of all musicians. It is amazing to see what a talented drummer can do with a music stand and a stack of phone books. Vignola's artistry proves that he fits into Django Reinhardt's shoes. Before you get sold on the top-notch music, remember that the 'performance' happens in a dressing room -until they take it up a notch and graduate to a motel room. This program is even more disappointing with the thought that this is Vignola's only DVD. While a version of this would have made a delightful bonus feature, it's almost impossible to appreciate "Frank Vignola's Gypsy Jazz Jam" for what it is."
Professional Musicians on Amateur Video
David Emery Bricker | Miami, FL United States | 07/12/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm disappointed that a respected music publisher like Mel Bay would release a video of such horrendous quality. If you are content to be a voyeur in the dressing room watching flying virtuosic fingers than you may enjoy this, but essentially, this is all done with a camcorder in a dressing room and a hotel room. This would be interesting if it were posted as a freebie video on a public download site, but I expect professional production when I pay the price for a music DVD - not a home video packaged to look like something genuine.
As for the playing, there's plenty of artistry but there's mostly a great deal of pyrotechnical over-playing - not much happening in the way of inspired phrasing and emotional interpretations of the music. As a player myself, I'd love to have the level of technique displayed here but I'm experienced enough to know that a great musician is distinguished just as much by what he DOESN'T play.
Mel Bay should focus more on producing quality material they can maintain a good reputation with than on trying to capitalize on the names of great musicians who are willing to release lousy DVDs in the hopes that the Mel Bay name will make them a buck or look good on their resumes. There's more to great gypsy jazz than flying fingers and there's more to videography than pointing a camera at someone in a dressing room.
Skip this and you won't miss anything special."
Robbert VanRenesse | Ithaca, NY | 07/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This may not be of much interest to somebody who wants to listen to carefully performed and edited gypsy jazz music, but if you're a guitar player and want to see Jimmy Rosenberg and Frank Vignola up close this is a great DVD. Sure, they are probably just showing off and having a good time, but it's "interesting" and "instructive" to guitar players who try to play this kind of stuff."