Vin Venezia, The Venetian Review


Vin Venezia, The Venetian Review

By Icrom Bigrad

Vin-Venezia-Jazz-Sensibilities-CDVin Venezia’s The Venetian is a guitar-fronted album built on the power of musical storytelling through the six strings. Venezia, whose fingers dance across the fretboard with the grace of a seasoned poet, offers us a banquet of sounds that pays homage to the past while carving out a distinct space within the contemporary jazz landscape.

From the first notes of “Days Of Wine And Roses,” Venezia signals to his audience that they are in the presence of a musician who respects the lineage of jazz guitar while not being afraid to infuse his personality into each chord and melody. His warm and embracing tone invites us into a conversation that speaks of modern jazz guitar, echoing the legends, yet distinctly Venezia’s own modern vocabulary. The interplay with Richie Morales’ drums and Harvie S’ bass on this track serves as both accompaniment and integral voices in a lively dialogue, showcasing Venezia’s ability to lead and listen in equal measure.

. On “Solar,” Venezia and his ensemble capture the spirit of Miles Davis with a rendition that is both a tribute and a personal statement, balancing lyrical soloing with rhythmic precision that propels the piece forward. Here, Venezia’s darker tone and modern touch pay homage to the vastness of jazz’s history, showcasing his adeptness at blending influences into a coherent musical voice of today’s jazz.

Venezia’s solo arrangement of “Stella by Starlight” is a high point of the album, presenting a lush, multi-textured landscape demonstrating his technical finesse and deep emotional connection to the music. His treatment of “Alone Together” and “Tune Up,” particularly in collaboration with saxophonist Danny Walsh, highlights the conversational aspect of jazz, where each soloist adds to an ongoing narrative built within the framework of the composition.

“Windows,” a joyous rendition of Chick Corea’s classic, exemplifies Venezia’s skill in navigating complex harmonic patterns with ease and creativity. The choice to include Pat Metheny’s “Tell Her You Saw Me” is particularly poignant, showcasing Venezia’s sensitivity and the breadth of his musical influences. His original compositions, especially “Without A Sound,” offer a glimpse into his soulful approach to composition, blending folk influences with a jazz sensibility that speaks to Venezia’s unique artistic voice.

What sets The Venetian apart is not just Venezia’s technical mastery or his choice of material, but his profound understanding of the guitar as an extension of the human voice. His ability to convey emotion and tell stories without words makes this album a compelling listen. The ensemble, featuring the talents of Morales, Harvie S, Budway, Walsh, and Magnuson, perfectly sync with Venezia’s vision, each musician bringing their unique voice to the table, creating a rich tapestry of sound.

The Venetian is a narrative woven through strings, a celebration of jazz guitar in today’s jazz scene, and a declaration of Venezia’s place within that lineage. Offering a musical experience that resonates with guitarist and jazz lovers, Vin Venezia has indeed crafted an album that sings directly to the heart.

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