John Pizzarelli's "Knowing You" flows with a laid back demeanor as organ, piano, bass, and drums surround the singer/guitarist with cool sensations. His velvety voice brings the title track's hip lyrics to life and sets your mind at ease. Listening to Pizzarelli sing this collection of standards and popular songs can turn your day into a floating daydream. No sense worrying about deadlines. As Dave Frishberg's lyrics remind us on two of the album's selections, this is a time to "kick back and relax" while "drifting back in dreams."
"How long has this been going on?" asks the singer with piano accompaniment to George and Ira Gershwin's pleasant ballad. Pizzarelli, 45, has been crooning favorite songs such as these for over 25 years. He swings, and he pumps genuine feelings into his work. The result is a natural concert performance that can be enjoyed by a broad cross-section of the public.
When Pizzarelli scat sings in unison with his guitar, the result is particularly mesmerizing. He surrounds himself with superb artists. His dad, Bucky, adds rhythm guitar to "Eastwood Lane," "Say It (Over and Over Again)," If It's the Last Thing I Do," and "New Sun in the Sky." His wife, Jessica, joins him for "Quality Time." Clarinetist Ken Peplowski, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and organist Larry Goldings add significant textures and highly creative improvised solos to the session, creating a variety of jazz formats, all of them winners.
Pizzarelli is easy to like. Knowing You comes recommended both for its universal appeal and for its swinging musical imagination.
Personnel: John Pizzarelli- guitars, vocals; Ray Kennedy- piano; Martin Pizzarelli- bass; Tony Tedesco- drums; Harry Allen- tenor saxophone; Bucky Pizzarelli- acoustic rhythm guitar; Larry Goldings- organ, piano on "God Only Knows;" Cesar Camargo Mariano- piano on "The Shadow of Your Smile" and "That Face;" Jessica Molaskey- vocal on "Quality Time;" Ken Peplowski- clarinet on "Eastwood Lane" and "It It's the Last Thing I Do;" Tony Monte- piano on "New Sun in the Sky" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?"