Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Let’s face it, this spring has been a busy, busy season for guitar fans around Nippertown. Guitar greats have been everywhere – from Pat Metheny at Proctors to the all-star Hendrix tribute concert at the Palace Theatre, from Rodrigo y Gabriela at The Egg to the Julian Lage/Chris Eldridge duo at Saratoga Arts.
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall got in on the six-string action last month, too, hosting the current incarnation of the Great Guitars tour, led by Martin Taylor – yes, that’s pretty much the quintessential name for a guitarist, eh?
In addition to Taylor, the concert featured Frank Vignola, Vinnie Raniolo and Peppino D’Agustino, all armed with acoustic guitars and sporting some mighty serious six-string mastery throughout the evening. Not only did they perform as a sparkling guitar quartet, but they also broke it down into various trio, duo and solo performances during the show. And there was plenty of humor laced throughout the night, too, especially when Vignola and Raniolo teamed up as a twosome.
And there are plenty of more great guitar shows lined up on the upcoming Nippertown concert calendar, too. One date that you might want to circle right now? Saturday, July 26 when the Jazz Guitar Summit featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and Gerry Beaudoinll takes over the Van Dyck in Schenectady.
Excerpt from Michael Hochandel’s review at The Daily Gazette: “After the break, Taylor soloed, swinging ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’ before yielding to D’Agostino’s ‘Penumbra’ that blended baroque and minimalism before asking everyone to close our eyes for his hypnotic waltz ‘The Blue Ocean.’ Vignola and Raniolo took over, performing as visually as sonically. Taylor made it a trio in ‘Air Mail Special,’ and D’Agostino completed the quartet in a jaunty swing tune before ‘Autumn Leaves’ allowed both dazzling playing and humorously exaggerated sadness at wrapping up their six-show tour here on Saturday. While the arch-tops Vignola and Taylor played delivered a sharper bite than the flat-tops in the hands of Raniolo and D’Agostino, everybody swung with clean precision. Their performing styles fit, too. Vignola’s humor might have seemed silly, but he played at least as well as everyone else. The show balanced in the aggregate, but felt episodic at times.”