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Moonlight Serenade, Hits of the 30's & 40's

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Album Review

This is a killer CD by Vince Giordano & His Nighthawks, a kind of greatest hits of the swing era as done by what is one of the truly wonderful musical phenomenon of the 21st century. For those unfamiliar, Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks have been dedicated to keeping the best music of the 1920s and 1930s alive and kicking since the 1980s, and they've got a lot of kick in these performances. The band manages to be astonishingly faithful to the original arrangements, but also puts enough life into the performances so that you can easily forget that these are, in part, homages to a past era. Indeed, playing this disc for a group of people who were unaware of the source or origins, you may find a room full of people 40 years too young to have known the originals start to dance to "Jumpin' at the Woodside." Glenn Miller is an obvious jumping off point for the repertory, but Bunny Berigan is represented by "I Can't Get Started," and the songbooks of Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Chick Webb, and Benny Goodman are also represented. The highlight, amazingly, is the rendition of "Moonlight Serenade," in a delicious arrangement that brings out elements of the music that feel like they're being heard for the first time — after 1000 listens to the Miller original for this listener. The sound is exquisite, and the playing, by Giordano, Mel Keller, Bill Overton, Dave Brown, Joel Helleny, Peter Ecklund, Arnie Kinsella, Herb Gardner, and Chuck Wilson, is first-rate from first note to last.

Customer Reviews

"...and the winner!"

Each song in this collection is performed by the artist whose interpretation was "hands down favorite" at its peak. The calendar says I'm 86. The music says I'm 17.


Born: March 11, 1952 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

b. Vincent James Giordano, 11 March 1952, New York City, New York, USA. Inspired by hearing records Giordano soon took a serious interest in music and by the age of 15 was playing professionally on string bass and, unusually, brass bass and bass saxophone. He had not only developed a liking for instruments on the lower range, he also took a precocious interest in arranging in the style of 20s and early 30s dance bands. To this end, he sought out and took lessons from Bill Challis. He played in a...
Full Bio

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Moonlight Serenade, Hits of the 30's & 40's, Vince Giordano
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