Jimmy Vivino & The Black Italians – 13 Live
Jimmy Vivino, Music Director and leader of the house band for Conan O'Brien's TV show on TBS, got the band back together for a memorable two night concert recording session. The occasion was the reunion of his fabled New York City "Black Italians" band at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY to record 13 Live.
On November 30, 2012, the reunited Black Italians hosted a public rehearsal followed by a live recorded concert the next night at Levon Helm's beautiful barn studio. The group had performed together only sporadically in the last several years, but one would never have guessed that once the lights came on and they hit the stage. Interspersing Jimmy's original songs with covers of tunes by the likes of Bob Dylan, James Brown, Traffic and Johnny Winter, the Black Italians immediately fell into a soulful, joyous groove, enlivening the audience. A night of truly inspired music making was capped off by "Song For Levon," written by Jimmy for the occasion, and a rousing version of The Band's "Shape I'm In."
The Black Italians were originally formed twenty years ago around a residency at the legendary Downtime Music Bar on W. 30th Street in New York City. The group, which had been serving as the band for the legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson, started attracting local and national touring musicians to their shows eager to participate in impromptu jams of what Vivino describes as "Third World blues with New Orleans swagger." He jokingly dubbed the communal group of musicians of various ethnicities "The Black Italians," which he says was really "about being soulful cats." The aggregation lasted about two years, until Vivino became too busy with his television gig.
1. Fat Man - 5:25 2. Soulful Dress - 4:03 3. From a Buick 6 - 3:00 4. Fast Life Rider - 5:02 5. Fool's Gold - 5:51 6. Heaven in a Pontiac - 3:30 7. Animalism - 4:21 8. Light Up or Leave Me Alone - 4:36 9. What Do I Have To Do (To Prove My Love To You) - 3:27 10. Miss Mona - 4:36 11. Maggie's Farm - 5:41 12. Song For Levon - 4:33 13. Shape I'm In - 4:43
"A record that celebrates impulsivity, virtuosity, and unbridled soul. Somewhere between the hottest Chicago jump blues, muscled garage rock, and a jazz-leaning rhumba, lies the sound of Jimmy Vivino's Black Italians - musical dexterity by way of pure, soul-digging inspiration."
"The entire album is chock full of impeccably recorded, juke-joint jumping R&B, soul and blues that'll make you salivate for the bygone era when all music sounded this good."
"Describing 13 Live just can't come close to capturing the brillance and sparkling beauty of the music. You've simply got to hear it, got to let this stuff into your soul, where it will live forever, and you will be a happier and better person for it."
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