U.S. Street Date 05/15/12
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30 years? For close to three decades John Pizzarelli has done what I enjoy calling a sonic exploratory within the jazz idiom. Never content to live on past laurels but instead Pizzarelli is the epitome of that searching artist that does not necessarily re-invent the musical wheel. Sometimes Pizzarelli simply takes what he does so well and makes it better. On occasion, Pizzarelli makes a good thing better by reaching even deeper as an artist for a work that few could pull off as effortlessly as Pizzarelli does with Double Exposure.
John Pizzarelli takes some of the great songwriters of his generations and then makes the transformation to new tunes framed within jazz sensibilities that infuse new life into timeless classics. As stated many times before, to take other work and place your own indelible stamp on classic tunes without disrespecting yourself or the original is the sign of true artistic genius. This type of release has been tried before and with varying degrees of success - most of the releases have in fact been the equivalent of a sonic flat line. Pizzarelli creates his own captivating hybrid from a myriad of pop influences whose transition with jazz sensibilities is handled by a master.
This unique creation by Pizzarelli is taken work from such artists as Lennon/McCartney, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and carefully creating a sonic tapestry with the golden threads of artists like Wes Montgomery and John Coltrane. The perfect example is the smoking "I Feel Fine/Sidewinder" a track where Pizzarelli describes the obvious end result of Lennon and McCartney meet Lee Morgan. Not just the expected pop hits are on the menu here with eclectic fair including Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" and Billy Joel's "Rosalinda's Eyes." A personal favorite the Donald Fagen classic "Walk Between The Raindrops" from the stellar solo recording The Nightfly pays an obvious homage to the great Thad Jones. This virtually flawless release closes with the Seals and Crofts cover "Diamond Girl" which quotes from the Miles Davis class " So What."
An original idea? Hmmm. Maybe not. Done better than any artist that has tried a similar approach? Easily. The stars were in perfect alignment for a picture perfect release by one of the most consistent artists of our time.
Tracks: I Feel Fine; Harvest Moon; Traffic Jam; Ruby Baby; Alison; Rosalinda's Eyes; Drunk On The Moon; Walk Between The Raindrops; Free Man In Paris; Take A Lot Of Pictures; I Can Let Go Now; Diamond Girl.
Personnel: John Pizzarelli: vocals, guitar; Larry Fuller: keyboards; Martin Pizzarelli: bass; Tony Tedesco: drummer.
Special Guests: Larry Goldings: organ; Horn Section arranged by Don Sebesky including: Tony Kadleck: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Mosca: trombone, euphonium; Kenny Berger: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Andy Fusco: alto and tenor saxophone and clarinet.