Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hello everybody - it's me ~Martini!
Wow, am I ever excited to be bringing you a brand new blog, all about the musical wonder that is Frank Rendo.
Long Island resident Frank Rendo has the ability to tell quite a story through his most appealing, beautiful voice. He enjoys a solo career, including album projects as well as numerous concert appearances. His solo album "How Can You Say No to This Man?" has been a big seller, and has received rave reviews. Recently remastered by Fred Guarino, master recording engineer and owner of TIKI recording studios in Glen Cove, Long Island ~ "How Can You Say No To This Man" is now available in CD.
CMU magazine said "Hearing Frank Rendo sing is an experience you don't want to miss. His voice is vibrant with power and professionalism. He is definitely live concert material. "
Frank's CD "SHINE" was released in early 2004, and continues to sell very well today. Frank has made several guest appearances on TBN's "Praise the Lord" broadcasts, and he is seen regularly performing at Long Island's premiere Christian Café, "Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven" where he enjoys a regular "first Saturday of the month" ministry evening where many faithful come regularly to hear him perform. He is also co-host of the Li'l Bit of Heaven TV Show, which premiered in September, 2007. [information obtained from Frank's promotional material).
For "REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS", Frank collaborates with composer, arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinnaire (and my lovely friend), Palma Pascale. Frank is the CD's executive producer, together with album producers Palma Pascale and another good friend, Fred Guarino, who is chief engineer of the album; together these three have spun a CD full of magic, to be sure.
Some of the melodies on this CD include a Palma Pascale original entitled "Much Less Than Christmas" – a beautiful, yet achingly sad story of love at the holidays; "We Wish You The Merriest" ~ a straight-ahead jazz influenced Les Brown gem; Morris Chapman's "Bethlehem Morning" (made highly popular by Gospel Music's Leading Lady, Sandi Patty) which is breathtakingly done by Frank; and the title song, another of Palma's originals, "Remembering Christmas."
It occurs to me that you will want to be sure you have all three CD's by Frank Rendo in order to listen to him the year through - and I'm certain you will want to add "REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS" to your catalogue of Christmas music that you will enjoy year after year! Lucky for you, then, that you can find each of these CD's by going to http://www.cdbaby.com/. Get yours TODAY!
Here, now, is the start of this blog, and the first of what promises to be many from me.
FRANK RENDO’S REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS ~Thoughts and information about the songs, and the artists who created the beauty~
By: Timothy J. San Paolo
“…Oh, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute – Candles in the window, carols at the spinet! Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute – we need a little Christmas, now…!” These lyrics begin Frank Rendo’s delightful new Christmas CD, REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS. Throughout the collection, Frank reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas, and about how to appropriately remember the holy day; plus we are treated to some wonderful, touching stories as the CD progresses – about the Christ Child, His father the carpenter, and of Mary, His mother. We hear a beautiful but sad Christmas love song, and learn of that awesome Bethlehem Morning, as well as the velvety richness of that Holy Night. A prayer and a wish later, and we find ourselves dreaming of a White Christmas and naturally, counting our many blessings! I got pretty excited two summers ago (summer of 2006) when I learned of the talents of Frank Rendo. I had heard some really good things about Frank’s talent as his “partner” in this endeavor, the amazingly talented Palma Pascale, told me that she was working with Frank on some Christmas tunes for an album that he hoped to do. I loved the fact that Rendo was a good Italian name - just like Pascale, Guarnio and San Paolo. Hmmmm..... My curiosity got the better of me, then – wanting to know more – so I “Googled” Frank to find out a bit more of his musical background. I was amazed at all of the information about this mega talented artist I was able to find. His bio info is quite impressive. Frank has been performing for a good number of years, and he has built quite a positive reputation for himself there in Long Island, as his ministry through music has not gone unnoticed by the masses. Frank has secured a regular evening once a month, performing at a spot called Samantha’s Lil’ Bit of Heaven, and he has traveled abroad, singing the praises of God. He was mentioned in several websites, and the reviews of his music were most glowing, and well deserved. I got to hear one of the first-draft “roughs” of this recording in November of 2006 which was just Palma at the piano, and Frank singing a vocal guide track from which to build the orchestra and backing vocals. The rough, in and of itself was beautiful and ambitious, I thought, certainly. I recall Palma telling me “Just wait until you hear the voice of Frank Rendo. It will make you cry, for sure.” Palm knows me pretty well, and she was absolutely right about my reaction. Tears! Well, after all, it was gorgeous!!! And now, my goodness folks, things have drastically changed from that first recording – and are you, the listener, in for the treat of your lives. As the time has passed since this album got started, I, myself, have been privileged to meet Frank, and in my estimation, we became fast friends. Meeting Frank came from my association and friendship with composer Palma Pascale, and Fred Guarino, owner of TIKI Recording Studios, who engineered, mixed and sang on the project. Frank, himself, is as genuine as his voice. It is, indeed, obvious that Palma and Frank have created a masterpiece of Christmas music with this wonderful collection of not-so-typically recorded selections by other artists. That's one of the things I particularly appreciate about REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS – it is set apart from the “normal” sort of new Christmas album, if you will, by the very fact that it is NOT a predictable Christmas CD. I applaud Frank for his choices of music. The CD opens with a favorite number of mine from the 1966 Broadway production as well as the 1974 motion picture musical; Jerry Herman’s “MAME.” The song, of course – “We Need a Little Christmas.” A lovely rubato piano begins this intro, which is soon augmented by a solo flute, and then joined with a garden of opulent strings and the delicate plucking of a harp. Frank begins with a sort of almost “pleading” sounding vocal…I especially like the end of this intro where he sings “…Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute…..we need a little Christmas [chuckles]…..now…!” It’s effective and just plain fun. From here, the tune is a super, light-hearted, cheerful tune about a favorite holiday that seems to inevitably lift our spirits – so even though it may NOT be the actual day of Christmas; well, it just doesn’t matter – it’s that feeling we need – it’s that beauty we seek – “…we need a little Christmas, right this very minute…” The tempo of the song is a “march-styled” feel that is… certainly… uplifting! Palma’s expert touch at the keyboard is evident here in this fast-paced number with many varied runs and modulations. I remember her telling me about this song, and saying she “really wants to do a good job for Frank.” Well, Ms. Pascale – as I said then, and I repeat again, I had no doubt you would……and yes, you most assuredly did! Frank’s vocal is spot-on and the backing vocals sung by both Frank and Palm add just the right touch of additional interest to this medium-tempo-ed opener. There is a little clarinet that dances in and out of this one, and I get a huge smile every single time I hear it. There are bells (think glockenspiel), and flutes and sforzando cymbal crashes – there are piccolo trills and not least of all, there are the clip-clop sounds of horses hooves on the move, which is the proverbial “icing on the cake” if you will. It’s such a fun song, moving from its rubato beginning to its fast paced, clip-clopping ending and I give a big BRAVO! to both artists. The second selection on the CD is entitled “In The Bleak Midwinter.” Christina Rossetti, the former Poet, penned the words to this pretty ballad. She wrote these words in response to a request from the magazine, Scribner’s Monthly, who wanted a Christmas Poem from her. Gustav T. Holst wrote the music. Musically, the song begins with the plucking of a harp, followed closely by a lone string, and a clarinet melody line. The harp’s chords are not full standard I, III, V chords; seems the III is missing, making the perfect sound for this Bleak Midwinter’s setting. (Go figure that the accompaniment can actually be made to sound like the title of the song. That is…if you are an arranger who really knows what you’re doing)!! Frank so beautifully starts this ballad by singing “In The Bleak Midwinter, frosty wind made moan…” which is followed by the interjection of a few notes on the flute, which quite sounded like “frosty wind” to this writer. It’s the little nuances that fascinate me so. After the first verse, the intensity of the song increases with the additional of strings and the rolling crashing of cymbals and a most beautiful modulation occurs. As the verse progresses, the sounds of plucking strings and celestial “tinkling” sounds here and there. An instrumental interlude with full, rich strings and “vox voices” that effect a second modulation leads Frank into the final verse, which is sung so strongly, yet sweetly, and oh-so-smoothly. I have to stop here, and just “try” to tell you about Frank’s voice. His voice is brilliant – so clear – so incredibly strong, yet he can sing quite softly and he has such a command of that handsome voice. That’s the thing – he has command of his voice – Frank seems to “act” with his voice – as it truly can tell a story just in the way in which he sings a lyric. I hear laughter…unbelievable sorrow…peace…melancholy…. enthusiasm – and Frank can somehow make you feel each feeling by the command he has of his voice. As someone who has been singing himself for over 30 years, one thing this writer tended to fight time and time again is reaching the high notes with enough breath support to actually get them out, and have them sounding strong. Frank has NO difficulty with this. It seems to be effortless, his innate ability to so easily reach those higher notes with such clarity and strength and with such a full, rich sound.
Frank sings from his heart - his great big, generous heart. It's no wonder, then, why he can touch you right down to your very soul, eh? Truly, God has blessed this man with a gift beyond description.
So that's all for this writing. I hope you will come back and visit...leave your comments, and be sure you stop by CD Baby (http://www.cdbaby.com/) and get your Frank Rendo CD's.
Until next time, I wish you all the best,


Anonymous said...

Tim (Martini) - I have mine now and I have listened to it over and over. As you told me I would, I have clearly pictured Carpenters singing the beautiful Much Less Than Christmas. These two do it so well and I can only imagine how Karen and Richard would have sounded - they missed out, for sure. Your writing makes me "understand" the music so much more clearly. Frank has a gorgeous voice, and Palma is unbelievable; such an amazing talent. Thank you all.

Beth, a Carpenters fan

Donnamagic said...

Tim, beautiful job of writing and describing as usual.
I love "Don't Laugh at Me" too! Such words...such truth.
Thank you, my friend, for giving me a reason to stop and smell the roses!