Both have played here before, most recently with Vignola's quintet in 2009 at the Bistro. Vignola also recorded a live DVD at the Bistro in 2008, and has yet another St. Louis connection, in that he's written 15 instructional books on various aspects of guitar playing for our town's Mel Bay Publications.
The basic idea of the sort of guitar duo that Vignola and Raniolo are doing has been around in jazz since the 1930s, but they've developed their own take on the format, adding their own harmonic, melodic and arranging touches, and also incorporating interpretations of material from outside - sometimes well outside - the traditional repertoire.
You can start to get the idea while watching the first clip up above, taken from a performance at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show earlier this year. It's a medley that starts and ends traditionally enough, with Tico Tico" and Gypsy Mania," but somewhere in the middle there, the guitarists interpolate both the theme from the film The Godfather and Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven."
There's another combination of traditional and contemporary in the first video down below, as Vignola and Raniolo pair the standard Stardust" with Killing Me Softly," made famous by Roberta Flack. This clip was recorded in February 2011 at the Midwest Mid-Winter Gypsy Swing Festival in Madison WI, as was the following clip, which includes a version of the Ventures' Walk Don't Run," the 1950s hit Perfidia" and more.
More evidence of the pair's eclectic nature can be found in the fourth clip, taken from a live performance on radio station WMWV in New Hampshire, and titled A Little Zappa, A Little Mozart." We close out with two more clips showing Vignola and Raniolo applying their chops to rock songs, specifically Kansas' Dust In The Wind" and the Police's Walking On The Moon."
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St. Needless to say, Jazz and Blues were always on the stereo in our home. I was steeped in these exciting sounds, and they make up some of my earliest memories.