95

The "Von Trapps on Martinis" Swing Like Crazy! Feinstein's

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Feinstein's
New York
June 22, 2002

The Pizzarellis ended a long, successful run in New York City at Feinstein's at the Regency on Saturday, June 22nd. John Pizzarelli is at the top of his game, with a long string of successful recordings for Stash, Chesky, Novus and Telarc, and the very entertaining 7-string guitarist and singer also knows how to work an audience with just the right touch of humor. Playing to a packed room, he led his trio of ten years (with Ray Kennedy on piano and brother Martin Pizzarelli on bass) through a swinging set that included: Bobby Troup's light and catchy "Lemon Twist;" a golden oldie, "Lulu's Back in Town," played with vigor and some fine scat singing by the leader; and the now infrequently heard gem "Something to Remember You By," with a memorable arrangement by George Shearing incorporating the bass line from Claude Thornhill's theme song, "Snowfall."
John's wife, Broadway actress and singer Jessica Molaskey, joined the group for the delightful "All the Cats Join In." She has comic skills equal to her husband, as she described being with the Pizzarelli family as "the Von Trapps on martinis." The Brothers Pizzarelli sat out as she delivered a sweet and slow interpretation of one of Eubie Blake's earliest hits on Broadway, "I'm Just Wild About Harry," backed by Kennedy's thoughtful piano playing. At this point Molaskey stopped to explain how she took a night off from performing on Broadway to attend her high school reunion, hoping to see a guy who never noticed her as a teenager. After talking to him for awhile at the function, she was horrified to learn that he was a member of the Mob. This odd situation prompted her to compose the hilarious "You Went and Took a Hit Out on My Heart," which nearly stole the show for the evening! The husband and wife team then took turns singing as they interpolated "With Plenty of Money and You" and "We're in the Money."
Ray Kennedy had the spotlight to himself for a well titled original, "The Gospel Truth." He then departed the stage briefly as the senior member of the Pizzarelli clan, the phenomenal guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, joined his sons. An intricate take of 'If I Had You" set the stage for a duet with Martin on bass of "More Than You Know." John rejoined the action by singing "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" (with an incredible solo by Bucky and strong rhythm accompaniment by his sons) then segueing into "The More I See You." The father and son guitarists then demonstrated how well they support each other's solos in an intricate run through "Three Little Words."
An instrumental arrangement of "It's Been a Long, Long Time" gave way to "I'll Be Seeing You" as Molaskey returned to the stage, with her husband joining her on vocals as they interpolated "I'll See You in My Dreams." All five musicians wrapped the set with a heartily swinging take of "It's a Good Day." What a way to conclude a visit to New York City!


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read WOMAD 2017 Live Reviews WOMAD 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Punkt Festival 2017 Live Reviews Punkt Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: September 17, 2017
Read Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium Live Reviews Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 16, 2017
Read 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival Live Reviews 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 15, 2017
Read Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre Live Reviews Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read 38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden Live Reviews 38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "bigBANG Jazz Gang" Live Reviews bigBANG Jazz Gang
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Thundercat at the Bluebird Theater" Live Reviews Thundercat at the Bluebird Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017" Live Reviews Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Miles From India at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Miles From India at SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Galway Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Galway Jazz Festival 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 31, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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