Friday, February 24, 2017

Al Caiola & Don Arnone - Great Pickin’ + Soft Guitars

The name of Al Caiola has been part of that very select fraternity of studio musicians who were heard on most of New York’s top rated television and recording assignments from the 40s up to the 70s. There’s a distinctive style and approach in his playing which made for a “sound.” On these recordings, Caiola joined forces with Don Arnone, another top-class, revered and busy studio jazz and pop guitarist. Both men get the chance to swing on these albums featuring two dozen well-known standards and originals, which showcase how well their unique styles blend.
On the first, Great Pickin’, the sparkling ensemble works with bass and drums, while on some tracks the band includes Eddie Costa on piano, Phil Kraus on vibes, reedman Phil Bodner and Art Van Damme’s swinging accordion. On Soft Guitars, “Mr. Guitar” Al Caiola and “Mr. Y” Don Arnone are backed by Frank Carroll on bass and Gloria Agostini on harp.
These recordings capture the full, complete warmth of each instrument, bringing out all the highlights, all the nuances, all the subtle interplay that give their playing its special distinction.

Source :

Al Caiola
Don Arnone
Great Pickin’
Soft Guitars


1 Caravan (Ellington, Tizol)  3:10
2 Cosmopolitan (Caiola)  1:55
3 A Foggy Day (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:52
4 Like the Moon Above You (Rhumshinky, Tauber)  1:57
5 I Saw the Stars (Sigler, Goodheart, Hoffman)  3:00
6 Lover Come Back to Me (Romberg, Hammerstein)  2:40
7 On the Alamo (Jones, Kahn)  2:01
8 Birds of a Feather (Caiola, Ekstrand)  2:39
9 A Tree in the Park (Rodgers, Hart)  3:28
10 Blue Lou (Sampson, Mills)  2:05
11 Chinese Guitar (Arnone)  2:25
12 Stompin’ at the Savoy (Goodman, Sampson, Webb, Razaf)  3:33
13 They Can’t Take That Away from Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:53
14 I Can’t Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:37
15 Try a Little Tenderness (Woods, Campbell, Connelly)  2:53
16 Where or When (Rodgers, Hart)  2:42
17 Skylark (Carmichael, Mercer)  2:46
18 Clair de Lune (Debussy)  2:52
19 Imagination (Van Heusen, Burke)  2:39
20 More than You Know (Youmans, Rose, Eliscu)  3:12
21 Stella by Starlight (Young, Washington)  3:26
22 ‘S Nice (Caiola)  1:52
23 I Don’t Know Why (Ahlert, Turk)  2:25
24 Poinsettia (Arnone)  2:52


[# 1-12] from the album “Great Pickin’” (Chancellor CHLS 5008)
Al Caiola - g
Don Arnone - g
Phil Bodner - cl, fl, as & ts
Art Van Damme - ac
Eddie Costa - p, vb & bls
Dick Hyman - p
Phil Kraus - vb & perc
George Duvivier - b
Bobby Rosengarden - dr
Vocal quartet [# 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 & 10]
Recorded in New York City ; 1960
[# 13-24] from the album “Soft Guitars” (Time Records S/2052)
Al Caiola - g
Don Arnone - g
Gloria Agostini - hrp
Frank Carroll - b
Recorded in New York City, 1962
The two artists are joined by a teram of Dick Hyman-Eddie Costa-p, Phil Kraus-vib, Phil Bodner-winds, George Duvivier/b, Bobby Rosengarden/dr and a vocal quartet for some hip and kitschy reads of “Caravan,” “On The Alamo” and “Blue Lou.” The vocals ooh and ah, which was the style of the day, and it works well. The instrumentals are subtle and sophisticated as they strings glide with Bodner’s flute on “A Tree In The Park” and get a bit Borscht Belty with accordion on”Cosmopolitan.”
The Soft Guitars album is more simple in support, with Frank Carroll’s bass and Gloria Agostini’s harp the only accompaniment. The strings glisten on “Imagination” and are cozy during “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” while casual simplicity oozes on ”I Can’t Get Started” and “Skylark.” Taste and style are in abundance here, and these guys must bathe in lanolin, as their hands sound extra soft. Lovely.
George W. Harris

Source :


Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Thank You very very much, Melanchthon!

sep troelstra said...

Thanks a lot!!

Eric said...

Lovely guitar playing. Your choices may be surprising, but your taste is faultless.
Thank you.

deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you.

Danny Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
francisco santos said...


Roberto Ferrari said...

Thanks so much!!!!!!!

Fred Archtop said...

Yet another jazz rarity from you. Thanks a million Mel.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much Mel!
Great post!

rowgatien said...

Thanks very much !

adakun said...

Muy bueno, gracias Mel.

theblueamos said...

Thank you from Jerusalem.

Kovina Kris said...

Double upgrade. Thank you!