Let’s discuss this season’s “American Crime Story,” which not enough people saw, probably because it was very dark and very gay.
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REMEMBERING GIANNI: “I was there in the beginning, when he had that little shop [in Milan]. I got my pirate boots there, and so much more. And that leather jumpsuit, which got stolen out of my apartment. His clothes were worth stealing,” recalled Pat Cleveland, who was on a brief hop to Berlin for the opening of a privately organized Gianni Versace retrospective Tuesday night at the Kronprinzenpalais.
Cleveland’s myriad Versace experiences hark back to the Seventies, Germany included. In 1978, German retail legend Albert Eickhoff took over the theater in the small town of Lippstadt where his store was then located, and brought in models including Cleveland to present what is claimed as “the first Gianni Versace show ever.”
What Cleveland mostly remembers about those early shows “is that Versace always liked to show in beautiful places. The floors were always tiled in marble, the interior filled with art to surround the clothes. I did something with Gianni in Venice years ago, me and some other Seventh Avenue showgirls,” she went on. “We didn’t get paid a lot, but mostly, we just wanted to go off and show the clothes. It was enough to have something to eat and hang out.”
With The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, his first significant TV role since his stint on General Hospital in the 1990s, singer Ricky Martin is playing a role in the story…
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It’s time to go behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated new shows of 2018: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
In the new featurette from FX, producers…
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The Florida based pianist Gianni Bianchini has a new album to be released on Feb 21, 2017 titled Type I. The title is reference to his recording debut and the fact that he fights with Type I diabetes which has been an influence on his life and so also his music. Perhaps his condition has given the gifted pianist a sense of urgency and if so that urgency has colored his music.
On this album, he is joined by bandmates Brandon Guerra on drums, Richard Mikel on bass. The liner notes indicate Jason Marsalis plays percussion, although to my ears one would be hard pressed to know exactly where he plays.
Bianchini has a deft touch and a joyful delivery that can be downright alluring. His trio runs through American songbook standards like Rogers and Harts’ “My Romance” and “My Heart Stood Still,” Julie Styne and Sammy Cahn’s “Time After Time”, George and Ira Gershwin’s “A Foggy Day,” Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m Old Fashioned,” and others that are played with a sense of authentic respect, pristine clarity and astute modernism. The man can certainly swing on a melody with creative arrangements and a sense of time that is quite impressive. Check out his version of “Softly as In a Morning Sunrise.” The band is tight and stirs up an impressive froth.
Bianchini’s playing is brimming with a vibrancy and attitude that is infectious. Bassist Mikel and drummer Guerra know how to dig deep and keep the music grooving. If there is one downside it is Bianchini’s vocals. They leave a little to be desired. Though he sings adequately and with the same upbeat swagger of his piano, his voice just isn’t nearly as musical or his delivery that compelling. The trio is much better served by the vocal talent of Karen Tennison who guests on “I Wish I Knew.” Ms. Tennisson sings with a breezy ease, with words that float and scats that have a refined coolness. Mr. Bianchini’s piano work on this one is very impressive.
Mr. Bianchini takes on Bill Evan’s bouncy “Peri’s Scope,” a challenging piece for any pianist, which he and bandmates pull off with marvelous aplomb. Mikel’s buoyant bass and Guerra ‘s brush work are of special note.
The cd ends with a Henry Mancini poignant composition “Two For the Road” with Mikel offering an arco bass opening.
This is a successful debut by a fine pianist and a sympathetic rhythm section who know their history and mine the Songbook’s possibility with vim, vigor and a sense of modernism.
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