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John Pizzarelli: Dear Mr. Sinatra

Jim Santella By

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With the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra interpreting swinging big band arrangements, John Pizzarelli captures the spirit of Frank Sinatra's memorable years with the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie and others. His aim here is not to emulate Sinatra, but to honor him with the songs that he sang so effectively. How can we ever forget?

The program includes eleven familiar songs from the Sinatra years, all presented as brief arrangements that keep creative soloing to a minimum. Pizzarelli's guitar provides a number of well-constructed solos, but they too are also abbreviated. His wordless vocals with unison guitar provide several of the session's high points.

If I Had You features a clarinet choir in a tender interpretation that strolls leisurely at a slow, romantic pace. "I've Got You Under My Skin features Pizzarelli's suave vocal sashay alongside a sensual battery of genteel wind players. "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning features a slow and steady walk that Pizzarelli delivers convincingly. "Last Dance closes the album with a sad and forlorn sign-off that recalls the emotional impact that Frank Sinatra held in the palm of his hand.

Along with Pizzarelli's Swing Era vocals and his always refreshing guitar interludes, Dear Mr. Sinatra features brief but creative solos from John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Rickey Woodard, Tamir Hendelman and Bucky Pizzarelli.

Track Listing: Ring-A-Ding Ding; You Make Me Feel So Young; How About You?; If I Had You; Witchcraft; I

Personnel: John Pizzarelli: guitars, vocals; The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: John Clayton: conductor, bass; Jeff Clayton: alto saxophone, clarinet; Jeff Hamilton: drums; Keith Fiddmont: alto saxophone, clarinet; Rickey Woodard, Charles Owens: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Lee Callet: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Bijon Watson, Sal Cracchiolo, Gilbert Castellanos, Bobby Rodriguez, James Ford: trumpet; Ira Nepus, George Bohanon, Ryan Porter: trombone; Robbie Hioki, Maurice Spears: bass trombone; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Christoph Luty: bass; John

Title: Dear Mr. Sinatra | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Telarc Records

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