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Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Vignola: Moonglow

Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Vignola dim the lights on the Joel Dorn-produced Moonglow, a duo session focusing on classic ballads. Loosely speaking, Vignola is the “singer” here, Pizzarelli the accompanist. Both of them get the purest of acoustic sounds. The takes are brief–16 songs in just under 47 minutes–and the approach straightforward, with Vignola sticking close to the melodies and rarely indulging in flash. He does, however, get in some adventurous licks on “If I Had You,” “Golden Earrings” and “P.S. I Love You.” Pizzarelli fills out the bass register with his seventh string, adds treble to his comping chords on brighter tempos like “Deep Purple” and takes his one and only solo on the title track.

Despite their restraint, the two guitarists are completely alert and alive to these great songs, including “Sleepy Time Down South,” “I Can Dream, Can’t I,” “Whispering,” the Perry Como hit “Temptation” and the particularly gorgeous “In the Blue of the Evening.” For a perfect companion to Moonglow, try In a Mellow Tone (Concord), Howard Alden’s 2003 duo date with Pizzarelli.

Originally Published