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Concert Review: Frank Vignola, Vinny Raniolo & Guests in NYC

Guitar night at the Cutting Room, with Bucky Pizzarelli and Al Caiola

Bucky Pizzarelli
Bucky Pizzarelli, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14 (photo: Jeff Tamarkin)
Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14
Frank Vignola, Vinny Raniolo, and Bucky Pizzarelli
Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, with Bucky Pizzarelli looking on, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14 (photo: Jeff Tamarkin)
Frank Vignola, Al Caiola, Bucky Pizzarelli and Vinny Raniolo
Frank Vignola, Al Caiola, Bucky Pizzarelli and Vinny Raniolo, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14 (photo: Jeff Tamarkin)
Vinny Raniolo, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14
Frank Vignola, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14
Al Caiola, The Cutting Room, NYC 6-14

When Frank Vignola was asked to put together a team for what will hopefully be the first of a long run of guitar nights at New York’s Cutting Room, he called “all of the Italian guitar players I could get,” he said with a wink at the club on the evening of June 3. These weren’t just any “Italian guitar players” though. First, there was Vinny Raniolo, Vignola’s longtime musical partner. The two of them together are a force of nature: superior, simpatico, entertaining players with a wide-ranging repertoire and off-the-charts facility.

But what made this surprisingly sparsely attended show one for the books was the inclusion of the pair’s two special guests: Al Caiola, 93, and Bucky Pizzarelli, 88. Each of these musicians is still remarkably articulate on his instrument: Whether playing solo, in duets or as part of the all-guitar quartet (no rhythm section needed), they were delightful to watch and hear.

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