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Much of guitarist John Pizzarelli’s work has been modeled after the drummerless trio of Nat King Cole. In 1994 John paid tribute to his idol with his recording, Dear Mr. Cole. P.S. Mr. Cole is, obviously, a sequel to that effort. Tutored by his legendary father, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, John is a fine rhythm player and soloist, but his singing is only average. Nevertheless, his engaging style and relaxed delivery tend to compensate for his vocal limitations. Joining the guitarist are pianist Ray Kennedy and John’s bass-playing brother Martin. Both men are perfectly attuned to Pizzarelli’s mainstream aesthetic and supply competent support. Old friend Harry Allen (tenor) pops in on two tunes and contributes a pair of succinct, swingin’ solos. The bulk of the generous, 18-track repertoire is comprised of swing-era standards and chestnuts. One could tire of hearing another run-through of such lightweight fare if Pizzarelli was not such an unpretentious, charming entertainer. As it stands, P.S. Mr. Cole makes for enjoyable, if undemanding, listening. (###)
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.