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John Pizzarelli and The George Shearing Quintet: The Rare Delight of You

C. Michael Bailey By

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Urbane and Gentlemanly Guitar and Piano...

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue... It is this romance that populates the Telarc Jazz collaboration between master of the popular song John Pizzarelli and jazz deity George Shearing. John Pizzarelli's guitar is a perfect fit for what has become known as the "Shearing Sound." His singing will, at once, make the listener think of Shearing's collaboration with the "Velvet Fog" Mel Tormé ( An Evening with George Shearing and Mel Tormé Concord Jazz 4190, 1990) and Pizzarelli's own nod to Nat King Cole ( P.S. Mr. Cole RCA 63563, 1999). Pizzarelli's voice is of such an authentic sweetness that it is downright pretty, perfect in heady solution with Shearing's arrangements.

The Rare Delight of You is music of rare refinement. The standards (and that is what most of the pieces on this 15 song set are) are lovely diamonds from the golden age of popular composition, the 1930s. The originals include the title track, which was written by John Pizzarelli and his wife, Jessica Molasky. It is no mere throwback to Tin Pan Alley. It is a glorious ballad that acts as a perfect restoration piece in this collection. The second is George Shearing's contribution (co-written with Leon Pearson), "I Predict (2001)." It is another plush ballad delivered brightly like an early spring morning.

Shearing employs his working quintet that includes guitarist Reg Schwager, who submits strategic fills throughout the recording as well as soloing on "Shine on Your Shoes" and "Lucky To Be Me." The rest of the guitar is all Pizzarelli, delivered as taught and learned from father Bucky.

Collaborations are sometimes dicey things that can either go really wrong or really right. The Rare Delight of You is one of those rare musical experiences that demands to be heard albeit with grace and gentlemanly charm.


Track Listing: 1. If Dreams Come True 2. The Lady's In Love With You 3. Everything Happens To Me 4. Lulu's Back In Town 5. Something To Remember You By 6. Lemon Twist 7. Lost April 8. Problem 9. The Rare Delight Of You 10. Shine On Your Shoes 11. Indian Summer 12. Be Careful It's My Heart 13. September In The Rain 14. I Predict (2001) 15. Lucky To Be Me

Personnel: John Pizzarelli - vocals, guitar, George Shearing - piano, Ted Piltzecker -- vibraphone, Reg Schwager -- guitar, Neil Swainson -- bass, Dennis Mackrel -- drums

Title: The Rare Delight of You | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Telarc Records


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