John Pizzarelli - One Night With You: The John Pizzarelli Collection

John Pizzarelli - One Night With You: The John Pizzarelli Collection
John Pizzarelli - One Night With You: The John Pizzarelli Collection
Item# JD153

Product Description

There is a word you don't hear much anymore these days. It's "Swank." In the 30s and 40s it stood for an unapologetic display of elegance, taste and style -- as seen from the outside and a few degrees below on the coordinates of social class. The word had the distinction of being simultaneously deprecating and admiring. The very word "Swank," with its single twangy syllable, was full of nervy, working class bravado. But it also represented something most people wanted for themselves, proving that envy and desire are inseparable. This was because in the heyday of Swank, codes of taste and behavior were set at the top, not at the bottom. Maybe that's why you don't hear much about Swank any more. Without the smart, civilizing influences of Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Duke Ellington and George Frazier at the top, the verities of a discriminating elitism are at the untender mercies of several generations of garage guitarists at the bottom. In an age where cultural judgments have become the impolitic stuff of social and political offense, Swank, with its finely calibrated hierarchies of elan, is out. This lament on the demise of Swank is inspired by the contents of this CD, which is compelling evidence that while Swank may be out, it's surely not extinct. If there is such a thing as neo-Swank, you are holding it. John Pizzarelli doesn't perform in T-shirts. Better still, he speaks in complete sentences, finds Rodgers and Hart preferable to Leiber and Stoller, and looks a little like JFK Jr., too, which doesn't hurt. He comes from a background where standards counted and where judgment was presumably swift and keen - in his case, the judgment of his famous guitar strumming father, Bucky Pizzarelli, who mostly plays the second banana on this delightful collection. The selections are evenly divided between instrumentals and vocals, which the young Pizzarelli phrases with a neat mix of highway road house and East Side cabaret. Above all, he swings, and therein lies the essence of classic Swank, as in the Duke Ellington's "Esquire Swank" (1946). Hearing a low-key magnum opus such as "Lady Be Good" reminds us what jazz lost when it retired the rhythm guitar. The tunes under consideration have been drawn from two sessions: the first under Johnny Frigo's leadership from November 1988, and the second under John's from February 1990. They are truly all-star groups. Frigo has been playing some of the world's best jazz violin for decades in Chicago, that backwater of American culture where he is regularly "discovered" and whisked off to New York or Los Angeles to wow the natives. Clark Terry is a thoroughly known quantity whose nimble construction adorn several pieces here. But a good part of this music is driven by the intricacies of a devilishly subtle and infectious rhythm section manned by Dave McKenna, Milt Hinton, Connie Kay, and the Pizzarelli dynasty. It follows the wisdom of Basie, who said (and demonstrated) that all jazz is born in the rhythm section.

Track Listings

  1. It Could Happen To You
  2. I'm Through With Love
  3. The Touch Of Your Lips
  4. I'll Never Be The Same
  5. Lady Be Good
  6. Stray Horn
  7. Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Gosh
  8. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
  9. Candy
  10. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  11. Early Autumn
  12. Take My Smile
  13. Passion Flower
  14. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You