STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Generations of Guitar with Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli


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Today, our video spotlight shines on father-and-son guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli, who will be in St. Louis to perform together Wednesday, December 18 through Saturday, December 21 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Both men have headlined individually at the venue before - Bucky was there most recently in 2007, while John has been a regular visitor to St. Louis, last playing at the Bistro in November 2012 and also appearing in recent years at the Sheldon Concert Hall and at the Touhill Performing Arts Center for the the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.

While the Pizzarellis don't work together primarily or even regularly, making this engagement a bit more of a special occasion, of course they've joined forces before many times for specific live performances, radio and TV appearances, and recording sessions. Today, let's take a look at some online videos capturing just a few of those live collaborations over the years, working in reverse chronological order.

The first two clips are from 2008. Up above, you can see the Pizzarellis playing the Billy Strayhorn/Duke Ellington standard “Satin Doll" at Birdland in NYC. Down below, in a video recorded at the Tilles Center on Long Island, Bucky does a solo version of “Stars In Your Eyes" and then the two of them play “Nuages."

The third clip, from 2002, shows them performing “Honeysuckle Rose" and “Route 66" at the 2002 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Awards. Below that, in a couple of undated but clearly much older clips recorded in informal settings, are “Sweet Georgia Brown" and then a rather frenetic version of “Pick Yourself Up."

To round out today's program, there's “The Seventh String: The Life and Tales of Bucky Pizzarelli," a short documentary about the elder Pizzarelli, and in clip number seven, a seasonal lagniappe of sorts, with John and his band playing “Sleigh Ride" in 2011 on Conan O'Brien's TV show.

For more about Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli, check out the feature story that ran on NPR's “Weekend Edition" for Father's Day this year, which includes an interview with the two of them and three more songs.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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