Monday, July 17, 2017

Vince Giordano - There's a Future In Our Past

This is a trailer for a film I recently purchased as a download. For those not familiar with Vince Giordano, he has led a small big band, The Nighthawks for about 4 decades that focuses on the hot and sweet music of the 1920s and 1930s, often playing arrangements dating from those years and trying to replicate the sound of the bands as heard on recordings from that era. This band has been employed on a number of films including those by Woody Allen, The Aviator, as well as on the HBO TV series Broadway Empire, in which the band actually was scene performing in some episodes.

This documentary examines what is entailed for him to actually engage in such activities, how he became interested in this music and his ongoing obsessiveness, his collecting of original stock arrangements (he has tens of thousands of such arrangements), the musicians who are in his band and what is entailed in keeping the band afloat and regularly performing.

He is scene performing at (among other locations) Sofia's where he had a regular gig for several years, The Iguana where they currently perform two nights a week, the Newport Jazz Festival (with George Wein off to the side enjoying their set) at a Lincoln Center summer performance, and Wolf Trap as part of a Prairie Home Companion broadcast from that venue. There is scenes of a recording session for Broadway Empire and him on radio promoting a Town Hall concert that celebrated the 90th Anniversary of Paul Whiteman's Aeolian Hall Concert which included the premiere of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Towards the documentary's end we are taken to a NYC Hot Jazz Festival where a number of younger performers discuss Vince's influence and the Nighthawks are joined by vocalist Catherine Russell for a number.

It is a fascinating look at a gentleman who triples on bass saxophone, tuba and a steel bass, in addition to leading the band, singing and so much more in filling a certain, and important musical niche. This should be available as a download or a rental as well as hard DVD. 

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