Frank_66_span3
July/August 2005

The Frank & Joe Show
66 2/3
Hyena

Just like a Hollywood studio attempting to make the magic happen again with a sequel, the Frank and Joe Show follow up last year's 33 1/3 with 66 2/3, another brilliant display of technical mastery and showmanship. Part deux it very much is, right down to including another caffeinated run through Mozart's "Turkish March" and spotlight tracks for vocalists Jane Monheit and Janis Siegel.

Monheit pours syrup all over Rodgers and Hart's "Manhattan," but you'd expect her to; Siegel's "Glow Worm" sits more in line with the other dozen tracks, recalling the yesterdays when swinging rhythm ruled and a hot instrumentalist could be a radio star. Here that star is Frank Vignola, whose acoustic archtop heroics easily put him in the technical Top 10, and who has no trouble keeping pace with percussionist Joe Ascione's breakneck propulsion. The flurrying musical data crosses into classical once more for Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5" and hangs around in a Latin mood for more than a few tracks, best of which is menacing take on Pablo Ruiz's "Sway," but that's one of few points where the music generates a real feeling. Mostly the Frank and Joe Show is a feast of fireworks, music made to entertain with flash and nostalgia, which it does quite well.

Originally published in July/August 2005
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