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January/February 2000

Bucky Pizzarelli
April Kisses

Unlike most newly recorded CDs, which tend to encourage longer performances of fewer tunes, this latest by seven-string acoustic guitar specialist Bucky Pizzarelli includes a whopping 20 tracks. This makes especially good sense, because, like CD reissues of three-minute 78s, Bucky directs much of his attention here to solo guitar compositions recorded in the 1930s. These include Carl Kress' "Helena," "Afterthoughts, Parts 1-3," "Love Song," "Sutton Mutton," and "Peg Leg Shuffle," Eddie Lang's 1927 "April Kisses," Hollywood studioman George M. Smith's "Slow Burning," Django Reinhardt's "Tears," and George Van Eps' "Squattin' at the Grotto," as well as the non-guitar-specific standards, "The End Of A Love Affair," "It Must Be True," "Come Sunday," "Please," a great ballad Eddie Lang played with Bing Crosby in 1932, and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." In addition, we also hear Bucky's "Indy Annie," "Samerino," "Stompin' for Boz," and "Silk City Blues."

There is no question of Bucky's stature in his field, but there is a problem throughout these tracks of overly close miking. While this undoubtedly makes for more authentic reproduction of the instrument's acoustical properties, it also magnifies undesirable, non-musical finger noise, at its extremes as disturbing as the sound of scratching on a blackboard.

Originally published in January/February 2000
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