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One Morning In May

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Album Review

Bucky Pizzarelli's distinct combination of chords and single notes separates him from most guitarists. He has also been playing since the swing era and continues to have a commitment to earlier forms of jazz. On One Morning in May he plays a seven-string guitar without accompaniment on 21 standards, creating something akin to pure Pizzarelli. A lovely five-minute version of Bix Beiderbecke's "Candle Lights," filled with subtle, melancholy shadings, is a pleasant surprise. The only other piece of this length is another number, "In a Mist," by Beiderbecke. Other nice choices include two Billy Strayhorn compositions, "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" and "Blood Count." Playing solo allows Pizzarelli to fluctuate within each piece, moving between steady swing and a more intimate, quiet approach; playing solo also gives the listener a chance to hear the nuances of his style without interference. Even on more familiar songs like the Gershwins' "Someone to Watch Over Me" or "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," his interpretations are fresh and vital. The tone of Pizzarelli's guitar is warm and friendly, and this personal approach works well for the mostly mellow material on One Morning in May. Historically, Pizzarelli's style offers a strand to the great chordal guitarists of the '20s and '30s like Carl Kress, Dick McDonough, and George Van Eps. This release should appeal to anyone who enjoys quality guitar jazz, and will certainly appeal to Pizzarelli's fans. It is also refreshing that labels like Arbors continue to record classic jazz players. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: January 9, 1926 in Paterson, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A superior guitarist appreciated by swing musicians in particular, Bucky Pizzarelli has been a fixture in jazz and the studios since the early '50s. Self-taught, Pizzarelli has long been a master of the seven-string guitar. He toured with Vaughn Monroe before and after a stint in the military. In 1952, Pizzarelli joined the staff of NBC and 12 years later he switched to ABC; in addition, he worked with the Three Sounds (1956-1957) and had several tours with Benny Goodman. In the 1970s he was more...
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One Morning In May, Bucky Pizzarelli
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