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Album Review

Pianist Skitch Henderson and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli put together this rather strangely configured band in 2003 to celebrate their mutual love: the music of the hot jazz and swing eras. Consisting of two guitars, bass, piano, drums, vibes and four (!) violins, the group's instrumentation manages to hark back simultaneously to several different jazz traditions all at once, but draws most strongly on that of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli's French gypsy jazz of the 1930s. The idea of multiple violins is an interesting but not really successful one — Andy Stein's multi-tracked playing on "Kiddin' on the Fiddle" sounds awkward, as do the massed strings on the otherwise charmingly swinging "Out of Nowhere." But when Johnny Frigo steps up on his own on "You Stepped Out of a Dream," the effect is electric (as is John Pizzarelli's period-piece guitar solo), and the unison fiddles on the band's unusual jazz arrangement of "Blue Bells of Scotland" is quite a bit more effective. Violinist Aaron Weinstein and John Pizzarelli deliver a marvelous duo arrangement of "Three Little Words," and Bucky Pizzarelli distinguishes himself on the Gershwin standard "Bidin' My Time." Overall, this is an enjoyable, if quirky, excursion into swing revivalism. Recommended.

Customer Reviews

Live Up the Past and Celebrate the Future

"The selectrions you will hear on this disc bring back the style of improvisation which began with Dixieland and, with imagination and improvisation, propelled us through the great days of jazz. So, dance the night away. Live it up. Live up the past and celebrate the future." -Walter Cronkite

Biography

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...
Full Bio
Legends, Bucky Pizzarelli
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jul 01, 2003

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