Vin Venezia, The Venetian Review
Vin Venezia, a brilliant jazz guitar talent, showcases his mastery and versatility in his latest album, The Venetian. Released on September 8, 2023, by Innervision Records, this collection, consisting predominantly of standards, displays Venezia’s deep understanding of jazz’s rich tradition and his ability to imbue it with a contemporary flair.
Opening with “Days Of Wine And Roses,” Venezia sets the tone for the album. His approach is warm and precise; he breathes new life into this familiar standard with articulate single notes and lush chords. One will be entertained by his lyrical elegance, marked by a flowing rhythm and an increasing complexity from the rhythmic support of Richie Morales on drums and Harvie S on bass, which never loses its clarity or purpose.
“Solar,” a jazz staple, follows with an engaging solos from Venezia and guest Bob Magnuson on tenor saxophone. Venezia’s solo is a highlight, characterized by lyrical passages and developing themes, showcasing his modern jazz guitar sensibilities. The ensemble’s performance is joyous and explorative, true to the spirit of jazz.
On “Stella by Starlight,” Venezia’s solo guitar arrangement as an introduction is lush and introspective, setting the stage for dynamic solos in “Alone Together” and “Tune Up.” The rendition of Chick Corea’s “Windows” is particularly noteworthy for its waltz time and modern harmonic movement, adding a fresh dimension to the solos by Venezia and Walsh.
Venezia’s interpretation of “Nardis” is another standout, with a relaxed swing tempo that allows for expressive interplay between the guitar and Walsh’s tenor saxophone. Venezia’s harmonic exploration over the song’s chord changes is evidence of his deep musicality, blending motivic clarity with a strong sense of melodic direction.
Pat Metheny’s “Tell Her You Saw Me” and Venezia’s own “Without A Sound” showcase his versatility as a guitarist, embracing folk jazz influences across nylon-string and acoustic steel-string instruments, respectively. Both tracks demonstrate Venezia’s ability to synthesize diverse influences into a coherent and captivating musical narrative. Notably, “Without A Sound” utilizes synth guitar sounds, adding a complete and emotional backdrop to Venezia’s elegant playing.
Throughout The Venetian, Venezia shows he is a skilled guitarist and a compelling storyteller. His tone is rich and nuanced, and his emphasis on melody and narrative in improvisation is evident. The selection of material and the ensemble, including Danny Walsh, David Budway, Harvie S, and Richie Morales, contribute significantly to the album’s success. The consistent presence of Harvie S and Morales, in particular, adds a cohesive grounding to the album.
In conclusion, The Venetian explores standards and contemporary jazz tunes through Vin Venezia’s artistry as a guitarist and improviser. His modern approach to harmony and phrasing, combined with a strong rhythmic drive, makes this album a delightful and enriching listen.
Connect with Vin Venezia: Website |
October 20, 2023