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John Pizzarelli Trio: For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole (Ghostlight)

When guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli last paid tribute to his primary musical inspiration with 1999’s P.S. Mr. Cole, he was in his late thirties, and Nat Cole probably still cast an imposing shadow as a legendary jazz master. P.S. was his second release honoring his hero, following not long after 1994’s Dear Mr. Cole, a swinging … Read More “John Pizzarelli Trio: For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole (Ghostlight)”

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John Pizzarelli: Sinatra & Jobim @ 50 (Concord Jazz)

In 1964, when Getz and Gilberto ignited the bossa-nova craze across America, vocalists of all stripes—from Perry Como to Mel Tormé to Sarah Vaughan—quickly went Latin. Sinatra was a tad late to the party, teaming with bossa’s global exemplar for 1967’s Francis Albert Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim. Speculation was that Sinatra, then at the … Read More “John Pizzarelli: Sinatra & Jobim @ 50 (Concord Jazz)”

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John Pizzarelli: Salutes Johnny Mercer: Live at Birdland

As John Pizzarelli albums go, Salutes Johnny Mercer seems a decidedly low-key endeavor, released on his own, small label with little fanfare. And yet it delivers in spades everything one expects from the perennially affable guitarist and vocalist: intense musicality presented with genuine, aw-shucks humility, peppered with clever touches and a dash of goofiness. Meanwhile … Read More “John Pizzarelli: Salutes Johnny Mercer: Live at Birdland”

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World on a String: A Musical Memoir by John Pizzarelli and Joseph Cosgriff

Guitarist, singer and radio personality John Pizzarelli, 52, is one of the most entertaining and engaging performers on today’s jazz scene. In his new book, co-written with longtime collaborator Joseph Cosgriff, he recounts his life in music, and that life is indeed a storied one. He started playing guitar shortly after he began walking, and … Read More “World on a String: A Musical Memoir by John Pizzarelli and Joseph Cosgriff”

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John Pizzarelli: Rockin’ in Rhythm: A Duke Ellington Tribute

Perhaps it’s because the album’s strengths are so explicit that its weaknesses seem equally pronounced. Let’s start with the pluses. First, there’s the presence of the Swing Seven horns, arranged by Don Sebesky on seven tracks, including a sizzling “C Jam Blues” and a freewheeling combo of “Cottontail” and “Rockin’ in Rhythm.” Then there’s an … Read More “John Pizzarelli: Rockin’ in Rhythm: A Duke Ellington Tribute”

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