World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli has been hailed by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.” The Toronto Star pegged him as “the genial genius of the guitar.” And the Seattle Times saluted him as “a rare entertainer of the old school.”
Established as one of the prime contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Pizzarelli has expanded that repertoire by including the music of Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Antônio Carlos Jobim and the Beatles. His themed shows, often performed with his wife Jessica Molaskey, suggest there is no limit to Pizzarelli’s imagination or talent.
The New York Times called their recent “My Generation” show “brilliant,” raving the couple “embrace the present, or what used to be the present, and reflect on the passage of years. Like all of their shows, ‘My Generation’ is deeply felt. You have a strong sense that they are baring their personal struggles and resetting their compasses as they go forward.”
An earlier rave from the Times noted, “The ability to infuse pop and jazz with a Chekhovian wisdom about life’s ups and downs is the special gift of John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, long-married musical partners whose work gets deeper each year.”
Having concentrated on the music of Paul McCartney, Johnny Mercer and Frank Sinatra over the last two years, Pizzarelli has returned to the bossa nova of Antônio Carlos Jobim with his July 28, 2017 Concord Jazz release Sinatra & Jobim @ 50. With co-vocalist Daniel Jobim, grandson of the legendary Brazilian composer, the two explore songs Sinatra and Jobim recorded in 1967 and 1969 as well as add new songs to the mix flavored with the spirit of the classic Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim album.
For an artist The New York Times calls “one of the foremost interpreters of Jobim’s bossa nova classics,” the step was natural.
“We had a very successful run in Brazil [in 2016] and my manager said you should think about making another Brazilian record,” Pizzarelli says referring to his 2004 release Bossa Nova. “I looked around at what would make sense in terms of an anniversary.”
Homing in on the Sinatra-Jobim sessions, John says, “We had an advantage: Daniel had performed a number of those things with us at the Café Carlyle two years earlier.” Like Sinatra and Jobim, who started their sessions in January 1967, Pizzarelli and company were finished in three days of recording—in January 2017.
New York Beat
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