It’s interesting to note that this recording captures the very first time this group played together. While Joe Ascione and Frank Vignola have played together throughout most of their musical lives, neither of them had ever played with Joey DeFrancesco before this date. Therefore it’s particularly interesting that most of the songs on the record are the first takes, without any rehearsal whatsoever.
I think the reasons for this record’s musical success are threefold: First of all, these guys can play! Each of them has a deep understanding of the jazz tradition coupled with an incredible facility on their respective instrument. Second, is that they were each raised in an Italian-American family, and therefore share a common heritage and perspective with respect to Italian-American music and culture. And third, they’re all big fans of the great “mafia” motion pictures made by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Marlon Brando, and many other talented actors, writers, and directors. It is greatly due to the later two reasons that this record was made amongst two days of continuous laughter and humor. It was this type of interplay that promoted the “Whack ‘Em” reprise which gives you a glimpse of the spirit of the entire session. You can hear that spirit, coupled with a real respect for the music and the heritage, in every song of this album.
01. SPEAK SOFTLY LOVE (5:29) (Larry Kusic/Nino Rota) Famous Music Corp. -ASCAP
02. VOLARE (4:14) (Francesco Migliacci-Domenico Modugno/Mitchell Parish) EMI-Robbins Catalog, Inc -SCAP
03. FLY ME TO THE MOON (5:14) (Bart Howard) Hampshire House Pub. Corp. -ASCAP
04. ALL THE WAY (5:11) (Sammy Cahn-Jimmy Van Heusen) Maraville Music Corp. -ASCAP
05. WHACK‘EM (4:13) (Joe Ascione) venturemusic.com publishing -ASCAP
06. MALAFEMMENA (4:04) (Antonio De Curtis) La Canzonetta
07. YOUNG AT HEART (3:49) (Carolyn Leigh/Johnny Richards) Cheno Corp. -BMI
08. O SOLE MIO (5:12) (G. Capurro/E. Di Capua) Public Domain
09. EVIDENCE (4:32) (Thelonious Monk) Thelonious Music Corp. -BMI
10. GOODFELLAS (6:09) (Joe Ascione/Joey DeFrancesco/Frank Vignola) venturemusic.com publishing / Strictly DeFrancesco Music -ASCAP
11. YA SEE WHAT I’M SAYIN’? (4:44) (Joe Ascione) venturemusic.com publishing -ASCAP
10. WHACK ‘EM (Reprise) / Tarantella (1:52) (Joe Ascione)
publishing -ASCAP / Traditional
JOEY DeFRANCESCO, Hammond B-3 organ FRANK VIGNOLA, guitar
JOE ASCIONE, drums
Joey DeFrancesco, Frank Vignola, Joe Ascione – three musicians who go together like spaghetti, garlic bread and Chianti.
And when these Italian jazzers sit down to play together, under don DeFrancesco’s leadership… hey fahgettaboutit! Featuring killer chops, humor, and creative, jazzed-up versions of “Italian standards”, JOEY DeFRANCESCO’S GOODFELLAS deliver a recording you can’t refuse.
Produced by John Burk
Executive Producer: Glen Barros
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA, March 17 & 18, 1998 Recorded by Phil Edwards, assisted by Ben Conrad
Mixed by Phil Edwards at PER, Hayward, CA
Mastered by George Horn
Director of Product Development: Alexis Davis
Production Manager: David Millar
Photography: John Abbott
Frank Vignola plays a Benedetto Guitar and uses GHS Strings Joe Ascione plays GMS Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and uses Pro-Mark Drumsticks