The improvisatory nature of jazz provides a myriad of ways to enhance and tweak both the arrangement and performance of the music's canon. One approach being tried is the interpolation of one harmonically or rhythmically related song into another. Guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli and vocalist Tessa Souter have produced just such projects in their recordingsDouble Exposure and Beyond the Blue. This is intelligent and compelling music making. John PizzarelliDouble ExposureTelarc Records2012 John Pizzarelli's most recent recordings, Dear Mr. Sinatra (Telarc, 2006), With A Song In My Heart (Telarc, 2008) ...read more
John Pizzarelli unveiled the contents of his new Telarc CD John Pizzarelli Rockin' In Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington at Birdland recently and the result was a musical explosion. It is easy to become bored with the plethora of tribute" CDs issued almost every week these days, but this effort is truly something special.
From the moment Pizzarelli ascended the bandstand with his Swing Seven" cohorts the room began rocking. Not only were patrons finger popping and foot stomping along with the usual Pizzarelli rhythmic intensity but they were laughing at the humorous insider" patter, awed by some truly ...read more
He's the captain of cool. It seems no matter which songs he performs, guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli always delivers a certain amount of dashing and debonair. Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington is no exception.Items repeatedly culled from the American Songbook can become trite. But Pizzarelli has a knack for making the old seem new, fresh, and invigorating. He was very young when Ellington died in 1974, but his father, Bucky Pizzarelli, taught him much about one of the jazz world's most revered composers and band leaders. For this collection, Pizzarelli calls upon his regular ...read more
John Pizzarelli is a man of many talents. Singer, guitarist, bandleader and arranger, depending on the circumstances Pizzarelli can step into any or all of these roles and perform at the highest level. Coming from one of the most successful families in jazz, his brother [Martin Pizzarelli] being an accomplished bassist and father the legendary seven-string guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, the New York-based guitarist has built a devoted fan base, inside and outside of the jazz world, that has made him one of the genres most recognized faces and voices. A fan--and strong proponent--of the great American songbook, Pizzarelli's Rockin' in ...read more
John Pizzarelli is a walking, talking embarrassment of riches. He has a great pedigree, as his father, Bucky Pizzarelli), was a prodigious guitar talent (on a seven-string guitar, no less) with a voice like Chet Baker should have had. It is all this charm that Pizzarelli freely shares with us lesser mortals. Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington is a thematic collection picking up where his 2006 collection, Dear Mr. Sinatra (Telarc), left off. What more can be done with Ellington that has not been done before? Well, quite a lot it turns out.
What sets Pizzarelli's Ellington ...read more
Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli and Jessica MolaskeyTanglewood Jazz FestivalLenox, MassachusettsSeptember 5, 2009
Jazz programming on national radio stations--the stuff you still get in your car or in your home for free, not satellite radio--is a rarity. That's an unfortunate thing, because lack of exposure to the music is one of the main obstacles to growing the audience.
But there are some gems out there, where people can tune in on radio and hear good music. One of those shows, which appears to be gaining ground since its inception in 1992, is Radio Deluxe, a ...read more
The American Songbook. There are times when those three words make a music listener cringe: Oh no, another album of old songs. That's not the case with John Pizzarelli. There's something about his guitar, his vocal style and the arrangements that make his recordings fun and interesting. That's doubly so on With a Song in My Heart, Pizzarelli's tribute to one of the great writers who contributed to the songbook: Richard Rodgers.Pizzarelli began playing guitar at age six. He followed the footsteps of his father, Bucky Pizzarelli, and also learned from Erroll Garner, Les Paul ... read more
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