The Vivino Brothers Band featuring Jimmy Vivino and his brother Jerry Vivino along with Michael Merritt (Bass), James “The Worm” Wormworth (Drums & Washboard), Fred Walcott (Percussion), and Brian Charette (Organ & Piano) are best known for their work as leading the house band for comedian Conan O’ Brien. This began in 1993 when they were members of the Max Weinberg 7, fronted by Bruce Springsteen’s drummer. Later the band continued as Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, The Tonight Show with Conan O’ Brien Band, The Legally Prohibited Band, and The Basic Cable Band (through 2018).
Their album Vivino Brothers Blues Band features a mix of not only Blues but also Jazz, Soul, and Funk. It features several tunes written by Jerry Vivino along with classics like Slippin’ & Slidin’ by Little Richard, Pusher Man by Curtis Mayfield, Feedback Out On Highway 101 by Van Morrison, and Family Affair written by Sylvester Stewart for his band Sly & The Family Stone.
This is a Live to Stereo and 4 Channel Surround Sound DSD recording by DMP’s Tom Jung assisted by Mark Conese. NativeDSD is excited to bring this lively and upbeat album to our listeners in Stereo and Multichannel DSD – including new DSD 128, DSD 256, and DSD 512 editions created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab using Signalyst’s HQ Player Pro 4 mastering tools.
Vivino Brothers Blues Band
Jimmy Vivino – Guitar, Piano & Vocals
Jerry Vivino – Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet & Vocals
Michael Merritt – Bass
James “The Worm” Wormworth – Drums & Washboard
Fred Walcott – Percussion
Brian Charette – Organ & Piano
Total time: 00:55:30
EMM Labs Meitner Analog to DSD Converter
Bob Ludwig and Tom Jung (DSD 64), Tom Caulfield (DSD 128, DSD 256, DSD 512)
Gateway Mastering, NativeDSD Mastering Lab
The Multichannel DSD program is a 4 Channel DSD recording (Left Front, Right Front, Left Surround, Right Surround). This recording does not use a Center or LFE (.1) Subwoofer channel.
|Original Recording Format|
Jimmy and Jerry Vivino
Tom Jung assisted by Mark Conese
Recorded Live to DSD at Ambient Recording in Stamford, CT on April 9-10, 2000
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||September 1, 2020|
O’s Place Jazz Newsletter
Jimmy Vivino (guitar, piano & vocals) and Jerry Vivino (sax, flute & vocals) are the foundation of the Vivino Brothers Blues Band. They play clean club blues. From the rousing and rowdy “Feedback Out On Highway 101” to cryin’ bluesy “Sinner’s Prayer”, they’ll get you going!
Sorry, man, but I just can’t get into the raw-boned country blues of just voice and guitar or voice, guitar & bass. Give me a more urban and larger ensemble such as this sextet, and if it can be mostly instrumental, even better.
The brothers (Jimmy on guitar, piano & vocals; Jerry on sax, flute, clarinet & vocals) only sing on three of the tracks and that’s good by me. The ensemble also features a B3 on some tracks (Brian Charette), and that’s even better too.
While there’s some tunes by such as Van Morrison and Curtis Mayfield, most of the 11 tracks are originals and there’s more variety than most blues sessions. Plus, the DMP sonics are superb.
All About Jazz
The Vivino Brothers (guitarist Jimmy and reedman Jerry) front one of the most in-demand session bands in blues today. The brothers also claim one of the best gigs in New York City. They were integral members of the Max Weinberg Seven, Conan O’Brien’s house band on NBC. By night Jimmy Vivino is Conan’s chief musical arranger. By day he works as a first-call producer (Shemekia Copeland, Son Seals, Johnnie Johnson, Phoebe Snow).
Vivino Brothers Blues Band is the duo’s first as part of an official “blues band.” It’s also their best. This is a polished yet lively mix of Blues, R&B and Jazz that’s about half instrumentals, half vocal tracks. At times, the group sounds like a TV house band, but its live-in-the-studio approach lends the music a very soulful cast.
Original funk-blues instrumentals (“Fat Burns,” “Itchin’ & Scratchin'”) are interspersed with straight-ahead blues classics (Lowell Fulson’s “Sinner’s Prayer”) and old R&B warhorses (Little Richard”s “Slippin’ & Slidin’,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusher Man,” and Sly Stone’s “Family Affair”). Jimmy Vivnino’s best vocal performance comes on Lil Green’s “Knockin’ Myself Out,” a 60-year-old acoustic blues tune with a timeless message about substance abuse.
Van Morrison’s “Feedback Out on Highway 101” is righteously soulful and the best performance on the album. Guided by Jerry Vivino’s slippery sax, the instrumental “Livin’ In Vain” starts out slowly but skids into a rousing chorus thanks to Brian Charette’s funky piano and soul-blasting organ. And Jerry Vivino blows some tasty flute on a fine instrumental treatment of “Pusher Man.”
Listening to the Vivinos and their four partners, it’s easy to understand why Hubert Sumlin, Johnnie Johnson and other blues stars choose to play with these cats. There’s no style of blues or R&B the Vivinos can’t play, and their considerable talent never lessens the soul quotient.
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