Friday, July 15, 2011
Al Viola, Jazz Guitarist: He hitched his wagon to a star named Frank Sinatra
Can we be Frank?
When my good friend and colleague Al Viola passed away in 2007 at age 87, the jazz world lost one of its greatest musicians. At 87, his nimble fingers were as fast as ever. He was as agile as a teenager – only far more musically learned – and his “chops” were so strong that you could hardly see his hands move. After many, many gigs together I worked with him for the last time several weeks before he died, and he never missed a note. He played as beautifully as when he’d been at the top of his career, a first-call Los Angeles studio musician in a small league that barely exists anymore – at a time when jazz guitar was pure and real musicians played real music. At the center of the Frank Sinatra “sound” for nearly thirty years, his guitar work was on almost every one of Sinatra’s albums from 1956 until 1980.
Al played rhythm guitar in the Sinatra band because it was what Sinatra wanted. He also played rhythm in my band, but was also pretty much an entire… Read the full story »
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Los Angles brides and grooms tend to be sophisticated. Our clients are often celebrities, musicians and entertainers themselves.
They especially enjoy the modern vintage live music our bands play. We call it “the good stuff.”
Sometimes they say things like, “nearly everyone who will be at… Read the full story »