Sunday, July 24, 2016

Alfred Ferdinando Viola - Guitars # 1 & 2

Of all the adjectives that might be applied to Alfred Ferdinando Viola (1919-2007), perhaps the most all-embracingly apt would be resourceful.
A Brooklyn native who developed most of his career as a guitarist in Hollywood, he became known in the mid 40s as an integral part of the popular Page Cavanaugh Trio. Later, in the Fifties, when he joined Bobby Troup’s trio, he worked and recorded with Julie London, Jimmy Witherspoon, June Christy and many other great singers—most memorably Frank Sinatra—in addition to holding the guitar chair with the diverse big bands and styles of Harry James, Nelson Riddle, Ray Anthony and Buddy Collette’s modern jazz quintet.
That hard-earned versatility is reflected in these late-50s recordings, in which he is a one-man guitar orchestra, performing and arranging all the parts himself. He recorded the rhythm and bass guitars separately on one tape for the basic rhythmic pattern.
On another, the amplified or gut-stringed guitars were used for fills (in which the guitars were the equivalent of a brass, string or reed section). The first two tapes were then combined and the single-fingered solos were added on a third tape. Viola put them all together with judicious balancing, and gave each of the twelve standards its own individual treatment, with varied instruments used to provide the special effects.
The fruit of his hard work and unquestioned ability is stunningly revealed in “The Guitars.”


Al Viola
(vol. 1 & 2)


1 When You’re Smiling (Shay, Fisher, Goodwin)  2:42
2 Moonlight in Vermont (Blackburn, Suessdorf)  2:28
3 I’ll Always Be In Love with You (Stept, Green, Ruby)  2:42
4 And the Angels Sing (Elman, Mercer)  2:35
5 You and the Night and the Music (Schwartz, Mercer)  2:11
6 Blue Skies (Berlin)  2:12
7 Route 66 (Troup)  1:58
8 Take Me in Your Arms (Holland, Dozier, Holland)  2:57
9 Sophisticated Lady (Ellington, Mills)  2:01
10 Always (Berlin)  2:01
11 The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else) (Johns, Kahn)  1:54
12 Lover (Rodgers, Hart)  2:33
13 Lonesome Road (Shilkret, Austin)  2:12
14 Angel Eyes (Dennis, Brent)  2:56
15 It Could Happen to You (Burke, VanHeusen)  2:48
16 I’ll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Raye)  2:36
17 All Star (Viola)  2:03
18 I Cover the Waterfront (Green, Heyman)  2:22
19 Makin’ Whoopee (Donaldson, Kahn)  2:32
20 Sometimes I’m Happy (Youmans, Caesar)  2:21
21 Wait Till You See Her (Rodgers, Hart)  1:58
22 Lemon Twist (Troup)  3:20
23 It’s Easy to Remember (Rodgers, Hart)  2:17
24 I’ll Take Romance (Oakland, Hammerstein II)  2:45


Al Viola - g & b

Recorded in Hollywood, California ; February 10, 12 & 13 [# 1-12] & June 30, July 1 & 2 [# 13-24], 1959

L'Avis du Patron
Al Viola, c'est pas n'importe qui. Ce type fut, entre autre, le guitariste de Sinatra. Un autre italo américain... Et comme on n'est jamais mieux servi, sinon par un ''pays'', que par soi-même ; eh bien, notre homme fait tout sur ces deux disques (Guitars 1 & 2) réunis en un seul cd. Au four et au moulin ! Les notes du lp original, que j'ai la bonne fortune d'avoir sous les yeux (Liberty 7112), avait été rédigées par un pote à Al : Bobby Troup. Celui-ci l'atteste : tout, ici, est fait maison... Et Al est un artisan. La basse et la guitare rythmique ont été enregistrées à part. Et puis Al a improvisé sur cet accompagnement qu'il avait préalablement enregistré... Guitariste et improvisateur hors pair, Al dispense un jazz du meilleur aloi : simple, direct, content d'être là et de jouer pour nous. Une petite merveille méconnue pour les amateurs de guitare jazz.


rm said...

merci beaucoup!

deGallo said...

Al Viola....magnificent!! Thank you very much.

Danneau said...

Al Viola Guitars

Ça fait du bien de voir le deuxième de la série. Merci infiniment.

Phillip said...

This fulfills a long-held want. Many thanks.

Philo said...

Al Viola - Guitars 1 & 2 (1959)

Sounds like he was inspired by the multi-track work of Les Paul. An excellent post!

L.O.L. said...

Thanks to introduce me to this great guitar player. :))))

outrage music said...

this sounds fantastic! thank you for letting me hear it

jazztap said...


duck said...

Hi Mel, Al Viola is not my favourite but it would be bad news to ignore this. hopefully I will be surprised.
Many thanks as always

Barron said...

Hi Mel,
For a moment I got excited; you decided to offer us something other than Rapidshare with embedupload. Unfortunately, only the Rapidshare link works. Too bad. It's hard to keep up with you when each download takes over an hour.

May I suggest ADrive? Much faster!

Thanks for the great music.

jose arboleda said...

Muchas Gracias.

AmyBRAINS said...

Nice post!
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Melanchthon said...

Historicus said...

Thanks a lot!!!

Peter said...

Dear Melanchthon,

thank you for introducing Al Viola's music to me.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you Mel

Fred Archtop said...

Merci Mel.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Great post! Many thanks