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Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past

by on October 21, 2016
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I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard the name Vince Giordano, I didn’t have a clue who he was. I knew he had something to do with music, but after watching “Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past” I didn’t know how well acquainted we actually were.

Giordano has been part of the music that gave life to films by Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, as well as the television series “Boardwalk Empire.” If you’re looking for the feel and sound of 1920s and ’30s jazz, Giordano is your go-to guy.

His love affair with this era of music started in his childhood and continues to this day. He’s not content to just play the tunes, but he owns a catalog of more than 60,000 classic jazz arrangements. He, along with his 11-piece band the Nighthawks, utilizes these jazz standards as they’ve entertained jazz enthusiasts for more than 40 years.

“Vince Giordano — There’s A Future in the Past” follows Giordano and the Nighthawks as they play in their regular haunt of Sophia’s two nights a week as well as various gigs, including the Newport Jazz Festival, and chronicles Giordano’s obsession with jazz music. And believe me, obsession is the appropriate word.

In addition to the Nighthawks, Giordano plays side gigs, talks about the music and does everything he can to keep the music alive. From the smile on his face and the passion he brings to the music, it’s easy to tell that he’s having the time of his life.

The true highlight of the movie is the music itself. Giordano is the consummate showman leading the Nighthawks through decades of jazz music that most people have never heard. You’ll find it near impossible not to be consumed by the music and before you know it you’ll be smiling for no reason other than the great vibes the music is sending your way.

While I loved the music in the documentary, I really would have liked to see more of a focus on Giordano himself. We get a lot of information, and a great deal of time is spent with him. But I still felt there was so much about the man I didn’t know.

The documentary ends with the Nighthawks bringing down the house at the New York Hot Jazz Festival and Giordano smiling and asking the rhetorical question of his cheering audience, “You guys really love this music don’t you?” And from the love and dedication, we know Giordano’s answer to the question would be a resounding yes.



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