John Pizzarelli Trio

Live At Birdland

TELARC 2-CD-83577

John Pizzarelli, guitar, vocals; Ray Kennedy, piano; Martin Pizzarelli, bass

What a load of fun this date must have been. John Pizzarelli is not noted for being miserable, and he is certainly not miserly with the amount of attention his gives to his audience. The trio made it an evening to remember, a night out that anyone would have been pleased to partake in. The material and approach owes much to the Nat Cole tradition, although to be fair Pizzarelli's effervescent personality could hardly have allowed it to come out any other way. We really should start taking special notice of pianist Ray Kennedy. He gets some glorious solos going and was something of a revelation to yours truly who has not been aware of his work until now. "It's Only A Paper Moon" severs to make steep the leaning to Nat Cole and the tunes he made famous. Pizzarrelli plays effective guitar solos throughout, which generally follow a vocal chorus or two, and then it is Kennedy who takes the delight a notch further. "I Like Jersey Best" is pure spoof, with our man imitating (very well, we might add and his Bob Dylan is a joy) a great many musical personalities. The audience loved it and seemed to be on good terms with what this excellent trio were putting out. Hip and hugely enjoyable.

byLawrence Brazier

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