At the age of 71, Johnny Frigo finally had his debut as a leader on record, with the exception of an obscure effort in 1957. Although he had spent much of his career as a studio bassist, Frigo successfully switched full-time to his first love, the violin, and was immediately considered one of the top swing-based violinists. Joined by both Bucky and John Pizzarelli on guitars, either Ron Carter or Michael Moore on bass, and drummer Butch Miles, Frigo is in wonderful form on 14 standards, including "Pick Yourself Up," "Detour Ahead" (which he had co-written while with the Soft Winds in the late '40s), "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "The Song Is You." This recommended CD launched the Chesky label.
In order to fully appreciate a John Pizzarelli listening experience, the following accoutrements are recommended: candles, rose petals, and a bit of bubbly. Because a night of romance is what's to be expected when one of the contemporary jazzman's discs is playing in your living room or boudoir. Pizzarelli's music is renowned for capturing all of the little nuances of love in confections that are light, breezy, and finger-snapping smooth. The singer/guitarist is one of the early 21st century's more notable jazz interpreters of the younger generation, and he has thus far devoted his career to presenting the classics in his own compositions on his albums…
After Hours is a 1996 studio album for Novus Records by jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and his trio. Most of the album consists of old standards, and features guests like Randy Sandke and Harry Allen.
Beatles fans love to explain that the key to the successful partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney was their contrasting songwriting personalities – Lennon was the tongue in cheek sardonic wit, McCartney the earnest balladeer. On John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, a sharply conceived tribute which sets the duo's classics in a jazz trio with big-band arrangements, the singer/guitarist hits the mark more often when he's taking on the Lennon persona. He approaches "Cant' Buy Me Love," "When I'm 64," and "Get Back" with a playful wink, jumping off his speedy melody lines and the rising brass sections for extended improvisational tradeoffs with pianist Ray Kennedy, and adding colorful touches like scatting and even ad libbing his own lyrical verses based on the originals. Likewise, he attacks the all-instrumental "Eleanor Rigby" with a jumpy, swinging aggression. Pizzarelli, however, becomes overly schmaltzy in presenting ballads like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Long and Winding Road" too seriously, with maudlin, straightforward arrangements that grind the party to a halt. The one exception is the more percussive "Oh Darling," where his intense vocal helps the tune rise above the hotel lounge mentality.
This is a wonderful, warm-hearted, and effortlessly virtuosic live recording by one of the finest living exponents of pre-bop small-ensemble jazz. With pianist Ray Kennedy and bassist Martin Pizzarelli (and on two songs joined by vocalist Grover Kemble), singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli runs through a generally lightweight but thoroughly charming set of standards, homages, funny stories, and the occasional original tune; the fast tunes are light and frothy, the ballads smooth and gentle, and even the moments that are less than utterly inspired work together with the album's highlights to create a very satisfying whole…
Just prior to signing with RCA/Novus, John Pizzarelli recorded two sets for Chesky that featured him playing in the swing style that he would soon make quite popular. Although joined by all-stars (pianist Dave McKenna, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Connie Kay, his father, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and flugelhornist Clark Terry) rather than his regular trio, Pizzarelli's likable vocals and relaxed guitar solos are not overshadowed. In fact, this is a delightful date, with memorable renditions of such songs as "I'm An Errand Boy for Rhythm," "Lady Be Good," "The Best Man," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" and "Candy." Easily recommended to John Pizzarelli fans.
New Standards is a studio album by a young John Pizzarelli attempting to create modern standards in the Great American Songbook. The release was not met with much enthusiasm, as most critics felt Pizzarelli was capable of much better offerings. Aside from his regular trio of himself, Martin Pizzarelli and Ray Kennedy, a host of other musicians join Pizzarelli on this album (including his father Bucky Pizzarelli).
All Of Me is a studio album by American jazz singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli, backed by a string orchestra that includes only one member of his normal trio, brother Martin Pizzarelli. Also on the album is his father, the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli.
John Pizzarelli's love affair with the bossa nova stretched back over two decades prior to the making of this CD, which is his salute to the legendary João Gilberto. Accompanied by his regular group (pianist Ray Kennedy and bassist Martin Pizzarelli) and augmented by drummer Paulinho Braga and percussionist Jim Saporito, along with several others on selected tracks, Pizzarelli's soft, swinging vocals and strong but understated guitar work their magic throughout the session. While most of the pieces are Brazilian works, there are exceptions. Gershwin's "Fascinatin' Rhythm" is easily adapted into a bossa nova…
Jazz guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli is a technically proficient fretman with a soft voice, charming stage presence, and knack for uptempo swing. Most often performing in a trio setting sans drums, Pizzarelli has found his niche covering jazz standards and American popular song in his own urbane style. He has recorded over 20 solo albums and has appeared on more than 40 albums of other recording artists, including Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Rosemary Clooney; his father, jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli; and his wife, singer Jessica Molaskey.