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Bucky Pizzarelli and Strings: So Hard to Forget

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After listening to So Hard to Forget, a case could be made that leaving Bucky Pizzarelli to his own devices is the way to go-if not that, then simply leave him in the company of fellow seven-string guitarist Frank Vignola.

Pizzarelli opens the album with a performance of “Laura” that initially displays his gifts as a soloist capable of freshening an evergreen with light-fingered arpeggios, sparkling harmonics and chord substitutions that seem to fall inevitably into place. Not long afterward, again playing solo, the veteran guitarist and jazz-family patriarch introduces “It’s Easy to Remember” in the same artful manner. Additional glimpses of his stellar autonomy pop up elsewhere on the album, not least the acoustic renderings of the first and second movements of Federico Torroba’s “Sonatina in A.” When Vignola makes his entrance, eight tunes into this 13-track collection of mostly pop standards, the pairing of guitarists helps produce great chemistry and delightful collaborations, as evidenced by the performances of “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Boots Blues.”

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