The Vivino Brothers

Blues Band

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Those who watched 1990s late-night television should be familiar with the work of the Vivino Brothers, who were music directors for NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brian. On that program, the job of singer/guitarist/pianist Jimmy Vivino and his sibling, singer/saxophonist Jerry Vivino, is to make O'Brian happy; however, on Blues Band, they sing and play for their own satisfaction. This decent, competent CD, which was recorded in April 2000, is fairly diverse. The Vivino Brothers are, as the album's title says, primarily a blues band, and cuts like "Feedback Out on Highway 101" and Lowell Fulson's "Sinner's Prayer" are gritty examples of urban electric blues. But the siblings detour into other areas, including soul on "Slippin' and Slidin'" and instrumental soul-jazz on Jerry's "Fat Burns," along with interpretations of Curtis Mayfield's "Pusher Man" and Sly & the Family Stone's "Family Affair." The Vivino Brothers don't just give us note-for-note covers of those 1970s R&B classics; instead, they take a hint from improvisers like Charles Earland and Grant Green and really interpret the songs. Brian Charette is the group's organist, and his work is right out of the Jimmy Smith/Jack McDuff/Earland school of organ playing. Blues Band isn't for blues purists, but it's enjoyable if you are the sort of eclectic listener who holds urban blues, R&B, and soul-jazz in equally high regard.

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