Pizzarelli delights audience with his many talents

John Pizzarelli, with his quartet, may be one of the last great jazz-oriented lounge acts left on the American scene. At Cabaret Jazz on Friday, Pizzarelli showed he is a quadruple threat: virtuoso guitarist, stylish singer, amusing raconteur and subtle, quick-witted humorist.

His group is stellar: brilliant pianist Larry Fuller, tasteful drummer Tony Tedesco and solid bassist Martin Pizzarelli, John’s brother, have been together so long they think and react as one. While all are thorough artists, other than Pizzarelli it was Fuller who carried the lion’s share of the load.

They led off the 90-minute set with the Matt Dennis tune “Will You Still Be Mine?” with the group trading solo choruses. Pizzarelli did the vocal and enhanced his guitar solo spot playing parallel octaves, a technique developed by the late Wes Montgomery and considered to be more than a little difficult. Pizzarelli made it look and sound easy. The 1940s hit “Candy” was followed by a very up-tempo version of Gershwin’s “Lady Be Good.” Pizzarelli’s two choruses of scat singing were followed by drummer Tedesco trading four-bar solos with him.

Another tune from the ’40s, “We Three” (“My Echo, My Shadow and Me”) was by far the best ballad treatment of the evening. Pizzarelli took a sad but run-of-the-mill lyric and seemingly touched every heart in the audience. His treatment of the words was sensitive, even moving. He claims Frank Sinatra as one of his major influences, but even Ol’ Blue Eyes didn’t project this song with this much effect. Pizzarelli’s light and airy voice came closer to that of the great Mel Torme than at any other time in the evening.

Then came an example of Pizzarelli’s story-telling prowess. The subject was his father, jazz and studio guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, who has become a legend ­- especially among New York area musicians – and who is still performing at age 86, often dueting with son John. Bucky is a mentor and inspiration to John, and the reverence son holds for father is obvious. The story has Bucky claiming to be on a recording of “Ruby Baby” and John unable to find any recording credit for his dad. It turns out Bucky was referring to the tune’s original recording made years earlier. Belly laughs? No, just a gently humorous account of a typical exchange within the family.

Following Neil Young’s “Come a Little Bit Closer,” Pizzarelli turned to some cuts from his latest album “Double Exposure,” a compilation of tunes successfully juxtaposed though they bear no similarities. The first was “Sidewinder” combined with the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” then an obscure piece called “Drunk on the Moon” mixed in with the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Lush Life.” It’s unfortunate the former was given prominence while the great Strayhorn ballad seemed almost an afterthought. Too bad. Pizzarelli’s vocal ballad styling would have left the crowd breathless.

Duke Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More” (which was combined with an eminently forgettable tune from the “Double Exposure” album) led into a piece only for voice and piano, Stephen Sondheim’s poignant “Where Are We to Go” from his show “Into the Woods.”

There were few empty seats in Cabaret Jazz, and those on hand seemed sorry to see the 90-minute set draw to a close. But the closer sent everyone home with broad smiles, “I like Jersey Best,” pays lighthearted homage to the home state of the Pizzarellis.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like