Italy! Renowned for its pastas, chiantis, and…hard jumping swing?
fact, Italy has given us several gifted swing musicians, including
The Good Fellas, who first hit the scene in 1997 backing Ray Gelato
on the release of Gangsters Of Swing. The band has since
stepped off of Gelato's coattails and is currently led by the
appropriately named Lucky Luciano. The Bologna-based combo recently
released their first CD, Salute!, a mix of Italian-themed
swing covers with global appeal.
Good Fellas capture the great days of Vegas-style swing, when
Prima and Butera were working an early rock-and-roll sound with
big bands behind them. Luciano sings alternately in Italian and
English, backed by a solid ten-piece orchestra. But, the real
gems on Salute! are all in Italian, including "Che Fine
Ha Fatto Sam?", "Ehi, Cumpari!", "Tutto Pepe," "Il Buio In Fondo
Al Viale," "O Sole Mio," and "Cara Cara."
non-Italian speakers, there are standard medleys, like "Sing,
Sing, Sing/Minnie the Moocher" and "Oh Babe/Jump, Jive and Wail."
(The latter is the only track that features Ray Gelato.) Of course,
these songs are a bit worn here in the States. Fortunately, listeners
are also treated to the slow blues number "If you Ever Loved A
Woman;" the Italian response to "Zoot Suit Riot," called "Angelo
Selvaggio;" and the swing standard, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't
Good Fellas are great musicians with a flair for swinging early
1950s style. Salute! is packed full with 18 tracks of fun
and is ripe for dancing. Now if I could only find my English-Italian
the band at www.goodfellasitaly.com