Just Between Frets

Frank Vignola and Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel and jazz sensation Frank Vignola turn many a well known tune inside-out with their virtuosity and unique chemistry as a duo, creating a non-stop chain of magical musical moments that were captured in a couple of spontaneous recording sessions. They’re now available to the world as ‘Just Between Frets’, a truly don’t-miss-it CD.

Track List
01 Tenderly (3:53)
02 Clouds/Nuages (4:57)
03 How High the Moon (4:23)
04 I’ve Got a Crush on You* (1:00)
05 Young at Heart* (3:23)
06 Swing 39/Swing 42 (6:18)
07 Sweet Dreams (3:33)
08 Paper Moon (5:36)
09 Django’s Castle (4:20)
10 Swing 09 (3:29)
11 NatureBoy (4:31)
12 Just Us 4 All (7:34)

*Played as a medley

Just Between Frets is the eleventh outing in our GROOVEMASTERS series that launched with two-time GRAMMY winner Laurence Juber and Preston Reed. It has featured many other GRAMMY winning guitarists and well known players like Phil Keaggy, Davey Johnstone and John Jorgenson (Elton John’s band leader and guitarists). Vol. 3 with Al Petteway and Amy White won the AFIM award for Album of the Year! Impossible to classify, the series covers styles from Jazz to Celtic, and all offer evidence that when it comes to great guitar records…sometimes it just takes two! –Solid Air Records

Minor 7th CD Review:
This latest addition to Solid Air’s Groovemasters series pairs two more acoustic masters for consistently listenable and even surprising results. Tommy Emmanuel is among the higher echelon of today’s fingerstyle players, if not positioned squarely atop the heap. Frank Vignola has been a top jazz and pop session player since the 1990, having performed or recorded with Les Paul, Ringo Starr, Joey DeFrancesco, David Grisman, Mark O’Connor, and many others. Emmanuel mainly performs solo, while Vignola almost always plays in groups (he’s released one solo guitar CD, the excellent “Blues for a Gypsy”). This CD places them in a trio context, rounded out by Gary Mazzaroppi, longtime bassist for pianist Marian McPartland and veteran of Vignola’s tenure with Les Paul. Most of the selections are swing-era standards, with a few more recent jazz and popular numbers and two originals thrown in. In a depature for him, Emmanuel employs a flatpick to trade rhythm and lead with Vignola, who is in familiar territory here. Highlights include “How High the Moon,” “Swing 39/Swing 42,” “Paper Moon,” and the country standard, “Sweet Dreams.” Each tune features extended solo spots for Emmanuel and Vignola, although the sparks really fly when they trade fours and improvise concurrently, as on “How High the Moon” and “Paper Moon.” Though I’ve heard Mazzaroppi stretch out more when playing with Marian McPartland, he takes two hot bass solos during the proceedings and otherwise holds down the bottom end with his usual skill. Other favorites include “Django’s Castle” (which Vignola recorded as a solo on Blues for a Gypsy) and an understated “Nature Boy.” Emmanuel and Vignola explore key changes and dynamic shifts on the blues, “Just us 4 All,” which serves as an encore. Like all Groovemasters CDs, this one is fun and full of great music.
© Patrick Ragains, Minor 7th, March/April 2010

Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
Whoa! What a record! Just Between Frets has all the elements that great music should have – passion, dynamics, beautiful phrasing, tone, and sensitive accompaniment. It is simply one of the best records we have heard in some time. It is even more impressive because it was recorded in just two afternoon sessions and, as Tommy said, “…. no fix-ups, no tricks, just honest playing.”

Tommy and Frank have put together a collection of, mostly, standards: “Tenderly, “ How High The Moon,” “I’ve Got a Crush On You,” “Young At Heart,” “Paper Moon,” “Django’s Castle,” and six others which harkens back to the days of romance and swing. “Tenderly,” and “Nature Boy” are two standouts. They are played in perfect tempo and with great emotion.

Beautifully recorded and beautifully played, a true gem.

Tommy and Frank, you have done a very good thing. Thanks for the reminder of what music can be.

  1. Joseph, Joseph Frank Vignola 4:23
  2. Tico Tico Frank Vignola 4:36
  3. Sleepytime Gal Frank Vignola 3:56