Air Guitar: Songs of Flight
Guitarist Raniolo has collaborated with many folks including Tommy Emmanuel, Bucky Pizzarelli, Leon Redbone and Vince Giordano to name a few. He also has been the long-time partner of Frank Vignola with whom he has performed thousands of concerts. "Air Guitar" is his first album under his own name and finds him in duets with bassist Elias Bailey. Heard are classic songs from Jimmy Van Heusen, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt and others that show his love of flying through performance of songs.
There is plenty to enjoy in the 15 selections on this from the brisk, lively opening "Come Fly With Me," through the lovely, lyrical rendering of "Skylark." Raniolo's deft touch and lovely tone supported by Bailey's bass. There is a lively "Flying Down To Rio," as well as a charming "Blue Skies." Raniolo crafts melodic solos throughout as on John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Stardust." Then there are the sparkling played "Airmail Special," as well as another Benny Goodman small group classic "Flying Home." The interplay between Raniolo and Bailey on the former number is noteworthy, as is his horn like lines on the latter tune. There is also an exquisite interpretation of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages."
Raniolo and Bailey have provided listeners here with a superb album of jazz guitar-bass duets to captivate listeners..
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the May-June 2018 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 378). Here Vinny Rniolo and Elias Bailey perform "Besame Mucho."