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Dear Mr. Sinatra

John Pizzarelli

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Album Review

Frank Sinatra, though not a jazz singer, was long respected by jazz musicians for his natural ability to get the best out of a song while developing a trademark approach to singing that had great appeal. While many recorded tributes to Sinatra since his death have been abysmal at best, vocalist and guitarist John Pizzarelli knows a little something about swinging and finding the essence of each song. Backed by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, with whom Pizzarelli toured prior to the making of this CD, along with arrangements by John Clayton, Don Sebesky, Dick Lieb, and Quincy Jones, he sought to focus primarily on songs written with Sinatra in mind, though taking new approaches to each of them. Dear Mr. Sinatra opens with an over-the-top rendition of "Ring-A-Ding-Ding." Clayton's sensitive writing for reeds provides the perfect backdrop for Pizzarelli's warm vocals in "If I Had You." The singer works magic in another fine Clayton chart, "I've Got You Under My Skin," delivering the goods in a sensitive interpretation. Pizzarelli is backed only by pianist Tamir Hendelman in the miniature scoring of "The Last Dance," which serves as a perfect finale. Only three of the tracks clock in at over four minutes, so there's not much of a focus upon instrumental solos, though Pizzarelli's guitar is featured in "Witchcraft." With a total time just under 40 minutes, the program is a little short by CD standards, but the performances by John Pizzarelli and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in this warm tribute to Old Blue Eyes are consistently of high caliber and hit the mark every time.

Customer Reviews

A cool Tribute to Frank

Pizzarelli's tribute to Sinatra is one of the better ones. It's true it's not Frank but he's gone never to be replaced. This is a cool version of some of Frank's best.

Homage to a Legend

I don't agree with some of the harsh critics out there. Pizzarelli is a classy, quality musician who is applying his own stylings to interpret some of Sinatra's popular charts. In the past, Pizzarelli has done similar tributes to Nat Cole, Johnny Mercer, and other writers and artists of the American Songbook. I highly recommend this album to those who you enjoy nice swing arrangements, some Django-esque guitar work, and smooth vocals.

Pizzarelli Very Talanted Artist

John Pizzarelli is an all-around talent. Great guitar work. Good vocals. Very enjoyable listening. Of course no-one is replacing Sinatra. John Pizzarelli is worth the ten bucks!

Biography

Born: April 6, 1960 in Paterson, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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. The son of journeyman swing guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, John began performing with his father at age 20 and made his recorded debut with his 1983 release, I'm Hip — Please Don't Tell My Father....
Full Bio
Dear Mr. Sinatra, John Pizzarelli
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