Our new review, Sold Out! Latest Podcast.

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w/Chaka in Tokyo

w/Chaka in Tokyo

Lou Volpe Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes (Songs of Sinatra) (Jazz Guitar Records 917)
CD Review:  Lou Volpe Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes      5/3
O’s Notes: Remembering Old’ Blue Eyes is centered on the songs sung by Frank Sinatra. But there are no vocals here, just the jazzy chord melodies from guitarist Lou Volpe. He plays in various small configurations from solo guitar to a quartet with polished musicians like pianist Onaje Allen Gumbs, bassist Stanley Banks and drummer Buddy Williams. Volpe’s tone is buttery smooth with exquisite technique. He uses the popular Sinatra tunes as a platform to display his prowess while delighting listeners. There are fourteen tracks and they are all good!
D. Oscar  Groomes


I can’t believe we had a “soldout” audience at our Starving Artist gig a few weeks ago! Such a good feeling. Thanks to all.

We just published EPISODE #9 of our “Lou Volpe Jazzcast” this past weekend! (a big deal for us!)

Hope you can check it out!

How to listen to the show:

1 – If you’d like to use iTunes click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lou-volpes-jazz-cast/id1033230006. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode!

2 – If you’d like to subscribe on your mobile device:
Android: download a podcast player app (we recommend DoubleTwist or Podcast Addict) and use this link to subscribe via RSS feed: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/rss

iPhone: download the Apple podcast app and search for “Lou Volpe’s Jazz Cast”.

3 – If you’d like to listen on a web browser you can also use this link: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/

EPISODE #8 by Jazz Guitar, arranger

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LVT 10-1-2010100We just published our latest Lou Volpe’s Jazziest! Episode #8 talks about TV show jazz and recording sessions, Acoustic Guitar solo, working up arrangements and more.

There are shared stories about writing on the spot arrangements of a standard tune or coming up with an original piece of music for a 2 minute spot all for New York’s ABC-TV. Lou also talks about working as staff guitarist for the Dick Cavett Show and being called upon to come up with impromptu music.

How to listen to the show:

1 – If you’d like to use iTunes click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lou-volpes-jazz-cast/id1033230006. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode!

2 – If you’d like to subscribe on your mobile device:
Android: download a podcast player app (we recommend DoubleTwist or Podcast Addict) and use this link to subscribe via RSS feed: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/rss

iPhone: download the Apple podcast app and search for “Lou Volpe’s Jazz Cast”.

3 – If you’d like to listen on a web browser you can also use this link: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/


Let us know what you think of the shows! Thanks.

Another Great CD Review for Jazz Guitar and Sinatra!

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This really nice review (plus some links for previews) just came in from the UK, and I would love to share this with you:


Album Released: 1st October 2015 – Label: CD Baby – Reviewed: February 2016

Lou Volpe Remembering Ol Blue Eyes

We all know that it was the 100th anniversary of Francis Albert Sinatra’s birth in December 2015.  And here is a truly wonderful tribute by that supreme guitarist, Lou Volpe, who has released the first Standard album of his career in remembrance and homage to Sinatra, combining the influences of jazz, bossa nova, blues and swing!

Lou Volpe was born in New York and is well-known not only on the New York music scene but also world-wide as a master of the jazz guitar. His sound is seductive, elegant, passionate!  He has performed and recorded with such diverse artistes as Peggy Lee, Chaka Khan, Bo Diddley, David “Fathead” Newman, Chet Baker, Liza Minelli, Lionel Hampton, Roberta Flack, Phoebe Snow, Manhattan Transfer and many others, and has toured with Bette Midler, Judy Collins and Herbie Mann (for whom he also composed, arranged and co-produced): tours ranged over the US, Europe, Africa and Japan.

Click here for an introductory video.

Volpe’s artistry ranges from his famous round sound, through single-note runs, rich chords, thrilling twangs, orgasmic crescendos and a certain delicate filigree fretwork.

And now we have this beautiful selection of Sinatra songs where Lou Volpe makes his guitar “sing” by “finger-picking” the melody as if he were uttering the lyrics! Entrancing and wonderful stuff! The only piece not part of the Sinatra catalogue is Carlos Santana’s Europe which is included as a dedication to the “brilliance of Frank”. The other thirteen tracks on this album are drawn from the Great American Songbook and include I’ll Remember April; Speak Low; It Was a Very Good Year; You Go To My Head; A Foggy Day; One For My Baby; Days of Wine and Roses; That’s Life; Softly As I Leave You; The Best is Yet to Come; I Get a Kick Out of You; All the Things You Are and I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

Click here to listen to You Go To My Head.

Each track employs a selection of musicians chosen from the following superb and world-class personnel: Lou Volpe (guitar, keyboards, bass (on track 13); Delmar Brown (keyboards); Mel David (keyboards); Onaje Allan Gumbs (keyboards); Stanley Banks (bass); Leo Traversa (bass); Buddy Williams (drums); Sipho Kunnene (drums – track 13) and Gary Fritz (percussio)n.

Out of these gorgeous lyrical melodies, this ecstatic reviewer has to choose I’ve Got You Under My Skin (track 13), performed in a bossa nova tempo, as the very favourite out of this stunning and exceptional collection of Sinatra standards.

Click here to listen to I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

Click here to listen to samples from the album. Click here for more information on Lou Volpe’s website.

June Bastable 

June Bastable is the wife of the late jazz musician, Johnny Bastable. She is a writer and author of two books Some People and These People available from AmazonWaterstones, etc.

Much thanks to our reviewer, June Bastable.

A great review starts the New Year off and running!

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Jazz Guitar playing Sinatra.
(Special thanks to Ron Weinstock!)
Just have to share this review with you:
Media Alert:  Lou Volpe Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes (Songs of Sinatra) (Jazz Guitar Records 917 Street Date: November 6, 2015
Lou Volpe-guitar, Mel Davis-keyboards, Delmar Brown-keyboards, Onaje Allen Gumbs-piano, Stanley Banks-bass, Leo Traversa-bass, Buddy Williams-drums, Sipho Kunene-drums, Gary Fritz-percussion
CD Review:

Lou Volpe Remembers Ol’ Blue Eyes

By Ron Weinstock

A guitarist who transcends the realms of jazz, R&B and adult contemporary, Lou Volpe’s newest recording is his salute to Frank Sinatra whose centennial was in 2015. “Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes (Songs of Sinatra)” (Jazz Guitar Records) has him performing 13 standards that are associated with Sinatra to which Volpe provides his personal interpretation while displaying his virtuosity and melodic sense. On eleven selections, Volpe is joined in a supportive role by Delmar Brown, Mel Davis and Onaje Allen Gumbs on keyboards; bassists Stanley Banks and Leo Traversa; Buddy Williams and Gary Fritz on drums and percussion respectively; with drummer Sipho Kunene offering his talents on one track. On the other three selections he plays solo.

There is plenty to like about listening to Volpe with spectacular single-note runs, riveting chordal playing, rich smears, edgy twang, swirling crescendos, filigreed delicacy and more backed by the various backing trios for performances that mix melodic ornamentation and scintillating improvisations. The Brazilian groove underlying the rendition of “Speak Low,” while the rendition of “It Was A Very Good Year,” with Gumbs on keyboards is taken in a R&B tinged vein with plenty of smears and twang against the simple, steady groove.

Volpe has big ears and there are tinges of Wes Montgomery on a swinging “A Foggy Day,” while the late night melancholy of “One For The Road,” is given a lively reworking with some twang and snap from the leader. “Days of Wine and Roses” is a lovely performance with Volpe effectively using overdub as he takes his lead over a simple chordal backing. Much the same can be said of the extremely lovely “Softly As I Leave You.” There is more exquisite playing on the closing selection, Carlos Santana’s “Europa” subtitled by Lou “(Dedicated to the Brilliance of Frank),” again with just Volpe and his guitars.

Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes (Songs of Sinatra)” is easy to listen to and full of considerable musical substance. He may be a guitar virtuoso, but Lou Volpe also is one who knows how to intrigue and entertain his listeners.

I received my review copy from a publicist.

THANK YOU to our reviewer.

Guitar Concert Dizzy Gillespie Theater

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The December 8th LV GROUP Concert
What a great night at our annual Guitar Concert at the Dizzy Gillespie Theater last night in the Baha’i Center, NYC (December 8th) featuring New York’s Finest: Buddy Williams on drums, Stanley Banks on bass, Gary Fritz on percussion and Tom Coppola on piano. These musicians are kings… They also played on the CD in the review that follows.
Thanks to all who came to our show and filled the house with their love and appreciation! We appreciate you being there. And, really appreciate all the CD sales and good wishes and thoughts!
Here is a CD review that just came in this morning from Scott Albin:

Format: Audio CD

Lou Volpe has been a much-in-demand guitarist over the years, having performed with an astonishing array of artists that includes Herbie Hancock, Peggy Lee, Chaka Khan, Bo Diddley, David “Fathead” Newman, Chet Baker, Liza Minelli, Roberta Flack, Phoebe Snow, The Manhattan Transfer, Judy Collins, Bette Midler, and Herbie Mann. “Lou Volpe is a great guitarist,” George Benson has said, adding “you should hear this guy play.” Volpe’s style falls somewhere between those of Benson and Larry Coryell, although his often twangy sound and fresh, personalized phrasing help set him apart from them and other jazz guitarists. For his first all-standards CD (except for a transcendent Carlos Santana tune), Volpe pays tribute to Frank Sinatra, who would have turned 100 this month, and it’s the guitarist’s ample and assured interpretive ability that most closely mirrors one the the great singer’s key attributes. For this well-crafted project, Volpe was supported by an earnest and attuned group of musicians, such as keyboardists Delmar Brown, Mel Davis, and Onaje Allan Gumbs, bassists Stanley Banks and Leo Traversa, drummers Buddy Williams and Sipho Kunene, and percussionist Gary Fritz.

A catchy riff sets up Volpe’s reading of the “I’ll Remember April” theme, with an alluring twangy tone. His solo displays easeful swing, bluesy inflections, slick runs, and rich chordal passages. Volpe’s soulful intro to “Speak Low” precedes a stately presentation of the melody and a return to earthiness in his improv, recalling Benson in sound and substance. Williams’ drums and Fritz’s percussion, along with Banks’ bass, are the buoyant cloud upon which Volpe floats. Gumbs, and, yes, Volpe’s atmospheric keyboards enhance a delicately spun, heartfelt version of “It Was a Very Good Year,” as the guitarist plays with great feeling above Traversa’s pulsating bass and Williams’ kicking drums. On “You Go to My Head,” a gently swaying Latin rhythm elevates Volpe’s ingratiating guitar, his statement exhibiting a flair for thematic embellishment as well as harmonic depth.

Banks’ pungent bass lines and Williams’ back beat accentuate Volpe’s glittering formulations during “A Foggy Day,” aided also along the way by Brown’s bubbly lyricism. A blues sensibility pervades the treatment of “One For My Baby,” as Volpe’s quivering held notes evoke B.B. King to some extent, although this guitarist’s chops would leave the relatively more reserved B.B. in the dust, technically speaking. For “Days of Wine and Roses,” another tantalizing suspended-in-air prelude brings Volpe to both the theme and his keenly focused exploration, backed only by his own second guitar’s tasteful chords and rhythms. “That’s Life” features a reflectively soulful Volpe, bolstered by Brown’s organ swells, his own second guitar pickings, and the forceful drive of Traversa and Williams. It’s just Volpe’s two guitars once again on “Softly as I Leave You,” in an intimately yearning and totally captivating unveiling of the beautiful melody.

With “The Best is Yet to Come” Volpe’s refined attention to detail is exceptional, each note distinguished by a pure, slurred, or smeared articulation, technique subservient to the essence of the melody. The guitarist adopts a richly resonant timbre for “I Get a Kick Out of You,” his playing here most noticeably remindful of both Benson and Coryell in its subtle intricacy. “All the Things You Are” is a bravura up tempo outing that this time brings to mind the prodigious facility of a Tal Farlow and the constructive logic of a Les Paul. Volpe’s intonation on”I’ve Got You Under My Skin” seems to come closest to capturing Sinatra’s voice, as does his emotive, confident phrasing. The finale is Carlos Santana’s piece, “Europa,” here “dedicated to the brilliance of Frank,” a full five minutes of Volpe’s solo guitars, played with the grandeur and passionate commitment of its composer– down to earth, unpretentious, and masterful.

 Thanks to Amazon/Scott Albin

New EPISODE #5 Jazz Cast

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20141203-_NLP1865New York City guitarist Lou Volpe talks about his performances and recordings with the great Bette Midler, his first major tour, the lifestyle of rehearsing and playing in LA (Hollywood to be exact) and features guitar performances of music he wrote and played from that time. Also discussed is a technique he developed for solo guitar playing inspired by the legendary piano greats of jazz, like Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flannigan, Hank Jones and others. The acoustic guitar is used to demonstrate this style.

Jazz Guitar with Bette Midler, playing style of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flannigan, McCoy Tyner, Solo Guitar Technique

How to listen to the show:

1 – If you’d like to use iTunes click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lou-volpes-jazz-cast/id1033230006. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode!

2 – If you’d like to subscribe on your mobile device:
Android: download a podcast player app (we recommend DoubleTwist or Podcast Addict) and use this link to subscribe via RSS feed: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/rss

iPhone: download the Apple podcast app and search for “Lou Volpe’s Jazz Cast”.

3 – If you’d like to listen on a web browser you can also use this link: http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/

Our Latest Sinatra CD review with “singing guitar”!

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Just have to share our latest review for the new CD! 

Lou Volpe: Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes (2015)




Lou Volpe: Remembering Ol' Blue Eyes

The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra‘s birth (December 12th 1915) and as expected, there have been many tributes to the Chairman of the Board but perhaps, none as unique as the instrumental homage by guitarist Lou Volpe on the splendid Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes: (Songs of Sinatra). Why? Because Volpe’s finger-picking lyrical style and expressive phrasings succeeds in presenting a vocal instrument of sorts as the guitar “sings” the melody in the same fashion Sinatra voiced the lyrics of each song, with swagger and class.

On tap here are thirteen classic Sinatra songs some, standards drawn from The Great American Songbook, others from more recent times, but all tunes one can easily associate as staple Sinatra songs. The only piece not part of the Sinatra catalogue is Carlos Santana‘s classic “Europa” included here as a parting dedication subtitled (Dedicated to the Brilliance of Frank) and is the first of three solo pieces on the album featuring the leader’s creative and innovative playing. The other two solo tunes include the gorgeous rendition of “Days of Wine And Roses,” and the warm love ballad “Softly as I Leave You.”

Volpe employs a quartet format on many of the selections, opening up the album on the standard “I’ll Remember April” with Mel Davis on the keyboards, Stanley Banks on bass and Buddy Williams on the drums—all of whom share the duties with other players on different tracks. The Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash standard “Speak Low” undergoes a wonderful transformation bolstered by the cushy percussions of Gary Fritz as the guitarist weaves his magic on the guitar with one riff after another.

One of Sinatra’s staple songs was “It Was A Very Good Year” and on this interpretation one can almost visualize the great singer singing the familiar lyrics on a beautiful rendition by Volpe. With the drummer’s crashing cymbal accents leading the way, “A Foggy Day,” another Sinatra favorite, takes a twist with a driving groove that makes the piece almost unrecognizable as the melody one is used to hearing. The same can also be stated of the classic “One for My baby” where he begins with a powerful guitar statement which is slightly bluesy in texture presenting yet another unique read of a Sinatra staple.

Other oft-recorded classics that Sinatra employed on many recordings and concerts are, “That’s Life,” “The Best Is Yet to Come,” “I Get A Kick Out of You” and of course, the familiar Cole Porter standard “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,’ performed here with a delicious Brazilian-flair, are all embraced and re-imagined by one of the finest jazz guitarist in the world. One thing is certain, Frank Sinatra will never be forgotten and Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes: (Songs of Sinatra), may be one reason to remember guitarist Lou Volpe, not only for this brilliantly-crafted and marvelous homage to a cultural legend, but for his virtuosic, world-class performance.

Track Listing: I’ll Remember April; Speak Low; It Was a Very Good Year; You Go to My Head; A Foggy Day; One for My Baby; The Days of Wine and Roses; That’s Life; Softly as I Leave You; The Best Is Yet to Come; I Get a Kick Out of You; All the Things You Are; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; Europa.

Personnel: Lou Volpe: guitar, keyboards; Delmar Brown: keyboards; Mel Davis: keyboards; Onaje Allan Gumbs: keyboards; Stanley Banks: bass; Leo Traversa: bass; Buddy Williams: drums; Sipho Kunene: drums (13); Gary Fritz: percussion.

Record Label: Jazz Guitar Records

Lou Volpe CD review with Lee Ritenour

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Our previous concert at the Dizzy Gillespie Theater

Our last concert at the Dizzy Gillespie Threater


We are so excited about this early review of the CD that just came in. Our CD reviewed right along side of the great Lee Ritenour! Feeling so good to be in the company of such a wonderful guitar artist. Thank you George Harris.

Our band will perform the CD at a special performance in December:

Tuesday, December 8th
8 PM
The Dizzy Gillespie Theater
53 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
212 674 8998Our annual celebration concert will spotlight the release of “Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes” and feature the new band playing these arrangements and songs. A special performance night for sure.Admission is $15.00 per show. Tickets will be sold at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased by credit card only by calling 212-222-5159. Tickets are also available at all Lou Volpe performances prior to this date.

Here is the review:

SIX STRING THEORIES…Lee Ritenour: A Twist of Rit, Lou Volpe: Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes

Ah! The jazz guitar! Here are a couple, one from one of the progenitors of modern six gunning, and the other while more obscure, makes quite an impression.

Lee Ritenour looks forward here by looking back and revisiting material from his earlier albums, mostly from his debut First Course, but also from later releases such as Earth Run. He teams up with buds and studs from those earlier days, and the all star cast of Patrice Rushen/key, Ernie Watts/ts, John Beasley/key, Dave Weckl/dr, Tom Kennedy/b, Ron Bruner/dr and Dave Grusin/key mix and match with a list of first call studio buddies. Vintage tunes like “Fatback,” “Wild Rice” and “Sweet Syncopation” are given new “twists” and sound fresh, fun and funky. Ritenour himself is in inspired form, and you can feel the smile coming out of each solo. “Bullet Train” and “Countdown” have a jazz club jam feel, with sparks flying from Beasley and Grusin, while the closing guitar duet with Tony Pusztai on “Waltz For Carmen” feels like an intimate conversation. Ritenour’s been on a creative roll the last few years; catch him while you can!

Lou  Volpe delivers a tasty tribute to Sinatra by delivering some well delivered takes of tunes made famous by the Chairman. Along with Mel Davis/key, Onaje Allan Gumbs/key, Delmar Brown/key, Stanley Banks/b, Gary Fritz/perc and Buddy Williams/dr he displays artistic picking with an easy back beat on pieces like “I’ll Remember April” and “A Foggy day.” He sounds cozy and intimate on solo tracks such as “Softly as I Leave You” and “Days of Wine and Roses” and he knows how to bend the strings as he makes them cry for mercy on “One For My Baby.” He taps the like Astaire on “a hip “The Best is Yet To Come” and is sleek as a Caddie’s fins on “You Go To My Head.” One for the Road!


More reviews coming soon!

Performance and CD updates

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Creole w:Goldtop

After our CD Release party at Showman’s, we had a few more scheduled: The Harlem Tavern (a really nice room on 116th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard). Only a few blocks away from Showman’s but with an entirely different audience. And band! I played there with a percussionist and myself! Interesting duo. John Cooksey brought his conga and percussion “toys” and really rocked the arrangements from the CD out of the park! It was a little more freedom for me on the guitar even as I played rhythm/bass and lead at the same time. We sold a bunch of CDs, so I guess we were doing something right.

After that was the Why Not Jazz Room in the Village. Again, for an entirely different audience. And I played solo. Slightly altered versions of the tunes were used to accommodate the solo guitar delivery. It seemed like a much younger age group was there. Very attentive to the details of the solo format and showed their appreciation profusely with applause and CD sales. Both of which I love!

A place in New Rochelle called Alvin and Friends is a wonderful jazz room with a Caribbean flavor. Great audience of music lovers who always enjoy the different grooves I go through during my set. I often go from “straight ahead’ to reggae to samba and contemporary to latin “feels” throughout the set. Thank you Alvin’s and all my friends who made the night a success and a great night for me. (I talk about a new technique I use for solo playing style in my upcoming podcast, along with some behind the scenes stories about my time with Bette Midler in EPISODE 5.) http://louvolpe.libsyn.com/

Guitar at New York City’s Showmans Jazz with Bronxnet TV

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PORT-LK-sdf3There we were playing to a full house at Harlem’s premier jazz room, Showmans. And, performing for the first time, excerpts from our new CD release, “Remembering Ol’ Blue Eyes”  with all our new arrangements and tunes. We were really thankful for the audience’s positive response!

Bronxnet TV sent a film crew to record the event (our very first CD release party). Such wonderful people from the wonderful Bronxnet TV organization directed by Michael “Max” Knobbe at bronxnet.org. (scroll to Lou Volpe album releaseThank you bronxnet!

Check out some of the night at Showmans here: