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John Pizzarelli: Let There Be Love

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Even if you’re in a jaded long-term marriage or have taken a recent thrashing in the relationship wars, you needn’t feel excluded by this album’s collection of love songs; all that’s required is a bit of a soft heart, and the music will draw you in. Here, guitarist/crooner John Pizzarelli, the son of guitar great Bucky Pizzarelli, lightly swings his way through the set with taste, style and musicianship. Along for the ride through this virtual tunnel of love is dad, bassist-brother Martin and a complement of others, including clarinetist Ken Peplowski, pianist Ray Kennedy and saxophonist Harry Allen.

Although the emphasis is on John’s vocal talents and the songs themselves, guitar lovers will dig the constant, four-to-the-bar groove that courses throughout the disc and the nice solo work on tunes like “Our Little Secret,” “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket” and “Our Love Rolls On.” Kennedy and Allen make especially grooving contributions here and there, and Bucky salutes George Van Eps and Les Paul with some beautiful fretwork on “I Don’t Know Why” and “Just One More Chance,” respectively. And John’s wife even gets into the act as the author of the lyrics to “Da Vinci’s Eyes,” a touching, slow, folklike waltz that has commercial potential beyond the jazz sphere.

This album is a family affair to be sure, but after all, isn’t that where a sense of togetherness really begins? Elegant from start to finish.