116

Chris Buzzelli: I Can Pick My Friends

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Buzzelli, who picks his friends as carefully and perceptively as he picks his seven-string American Archtop, has chosen three of the country’s most accomplished Jazz guitarists, Gene Bertoncini, Randy Johnston and Jack Wilkins, to share the ride on his second album as a leader. Each of them is on board for three numbers, with Buzzelli, pianist Russell Schmidt, bassist Jeff Halsey and drummer Roger Schupp making up a quartet on the other three.

My weightiest problem when reviewing albums like this is that I can’t tell one guitarist from another, but as everyone plays marvelously I suppose that’s of no great importance. Logic tells me that’s Buzzelli on the left channel, his sundry guests on the right, but I couldn’t swear to it under oath. No matter who’s where, however, the guitars blend handsomely together and no one sounds even a shade bemused or ill at ease. On the contrary, one could easily assume that they’re playing solely for their own amusement — which may well be true, jazz record sales being what they are these days. But we would hope not, as Buzzelli and his amigos certainly deserve to be heard by many others.

The program, with two exceptions, is comprised of standards including the atypical finale, Mario Lanza’s signature song, “Be My Love,” taken at a breezy tempo that suits it quite well. The exceptions are Buzzelli’s compositions “Steppin’ in It” and “Islip in Fall,” neither of which seems the least out of place in such esteemed company. Besides “Be My Love” and “Steppin’,” Buzzelli flies solo (with the rhythm section) on Mack David / Jerry Livingston’s “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Disney’s Cinderella.

Buzzelli, who has taught since 1984 at Bowling Green (OH) State University and performed from time to time with such masters as Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Cal Collins, Mike Stern, Tal Farlow, Mark Elf, Frank Vignola and others, is an adaptable player with excellent chops and a lively imagination. What’s more, he knows how to pick his friends.

Contact: www.ChrisBuzzelli.com; e-mail Chris@ChrisBuzzelli.com


Track Listing: Steppin

Personnel: Chris Buzzelli, Gene Bertoncini (3, 7, 10), Jack Wilkins (5, 6, 11), Randy Johnston (2, 4, 9), guitar; Russell Schmidt (1, 8, 12), piano; Jeff Halsey (1, 2, 4

Title: I Can Pick My Friends | Year Released: 2003


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Forever Young" CD/LP/Track Review Forever Young
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Subterranea" CD/LP/Track Review Subterranea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Gratitude" CD/LP/Track Review Gratitude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.