Vignola Plays Gershwin (Mel Bay Records)

Frank Vignola

Released April 17, 2010

Top 10 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll 2007




Frank Vignola, born December 30th, 1965, is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, John Lewis, Tommy Emmanuel, Lionel Hampton, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List:” for the Wall Street Journal. Frank Vignola is one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene. His dynamic genre-spanning music has brought him to 21 countries on three continents – and still growing – performing in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy. Vignola has recorded over 30 CD’s as a leader and has been a guest on hundreds of recordings. Vignola has written over 18 educational music books, recorded the critically acclaimed, “Vignola Plays Gershwin” CD, and recorded 2 DVD’ for Mel Bay Publications. He has also produced 42 full length video teaching courses for, for all levels. His on-line One on One private lessons and online Jazz Studio continue to thrive, having reached thousands of jazz guitar enthusiasts throughout the globe. Currently, Frank Vignola holds residency every Wednesday night at the world famous Birdland Jazz Club Theatre in New York City. “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night” has featured some of the finest talent on the planet including Mike Stern, Pasquale Grasso, Peter Bernstein, Houston Person and more.

Track Listing:

1. I Got Rhythm 05:37

2. Summertime 05:03

3. ‘S Wonderful 02:25

4. Our Love Is Here to Stay 02:53

5. They Can’t Take That Away from Me 03:35

6. The Man I Love 05:53

7. Somebody Loves Me 03:18

8. Strike Up the Band 04:39

9. Nice Work If You Can Get It 03:21

10. Fascinating Rhythm 04:13

11. Embraceable You 04:11

12. Lady Be Good 04:50

13. How Long Has This Been Going On 03:06

14. But Not for Me 03:54


Frank Vignola: guitar

Joe Ascione: drums

Tom Kennedy: bass

Corey Christiansen: guitar

Recorded July 21, 2006, at Music Masters, St. Louis, Missouri

Producer: William Bay

Engineer: Greg Trampe

Photography by J. Bruce Summers

CD designed by Amanda Feldmann


“I like a Gershwin tune,” Frank Sinatra sings on the Burton Reed/Ralph Freed classic, “How About You.” Guitarist Frank Vignola apparently loves a Gershwin tune, passionately.
Vignola—with twelve CDs as a leader under his belt—is a versatile musician who sites an array of influences: Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Christian. On Vignola Plays Gershwin he leans in a swinging gypsy direction, bringing a Django vibe to fourteen George Gershwin melodies.
The guitarist’s quartet includes Joe Ascione on drums, bassist Tom Kennedy and guitarist Corey Christiansen, who supplies the crisp rhythms behind Vignola. The tunes are all the familiar classics: “I Got Rhythm,” “Summertime,” “S’Wonderful,” “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “Fascinating Rhythm, “How Long Has This Been Going On,” and more. The band swings hard. It’s a reverent, loving elevation of one of America’s master songwriters. The group attacks “I Got Rhythm” with a joyous fever; they relax into a smooth flow on “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and put a zippy sting into “Fascinating Rhythm.”

I’m struck by Vignola’s technical virtuosity. It sounds as if he’s incapable of hitting even a slightly wrong sound; and it’s a warm, breathing virtuosity that feels spontaneous and fresh—a comfortable and supremely confident-in-his-artistic-skin player.
If America has ever turned out a finer melodist than George Gershwin, I haven’t heard him. Frank Vignola and his band play the man’s music with a beautiful zest.

Dan McClenaghan (All About Jazz)