November 1997

Francois Vola
Old World, New World
Vola Music

While Francois is the godson of Louis Vola, the bassist for Django Reinhardt's famed Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France, he plays with decidedly country leanings-no surprise given that he has lived in the U.S. for nearly 25 years and even toured with progressive banjoist Bill Keith.

Most of Vola's music has a bubbly, dance quality-realized by his capable group, which includes bass, drums, piano and violin. "Mambo Jambo" percolates along, with Vola using a guitar synth for the tune's somewhat complex ensemble passages. On "Nuageux," a ballad with an anthemic solo electric guitar intro, he settles down and plays some nice country-tinged phrases, while "Oliver," in 6/8, is about as close as he gets to jazz. The title track, a kind of bolero, reflects a multiplicity of influences, including Spanish, Celtic and rock. If nice, innocuous music with garden variety guitar playing is your cup of tea, check it out.

Originally published in November 1997

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