John Pizzarelli teams with the George Shearing Quintet to reveal their unique musical chemistry on The Rare Delight of You, a 15-track gem filled with the ambience of such great composers as Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Warren, and the master himself, George Shearing. Pizzarelli, a master of the Great American Songbook, showcases his musical heirlooms -- buoyant, loving vocals and quality guitar skills -- alongside Shearing's authentic and full-spirited piano savvy with brilliant insight and freedom of expression without exceeding the boundaries of the original compositions. The results are tender, expressive, jazz renderings that resound with taste and class. The best-selling guitarist and his wife, Jessica Molaskey, co-wrote "I Predict" with Shearing and also co-wrote the title track, "The Rare Delight of You." The latter, a tender, love ballad with the potential to become a jazz standard, is a relaxing song that conjures a variety of loving moods. Among the more delightful and memorable songs are "September in the Rain" and "Be Careful It's My Heart." Pizzarelli delivers them with all their harmony and richness, quietly, softly in tune with the light and, at times, swinging piano accompaniment of Shearing. The group dynamic is also interesting since they've mastered an ever-changing body of arrangements. Great music attracts the best musicians and Shearing's Quintet: Dennis Mackrel on drums, Ted Piltzecker on vibraphone, Reg Schwager on guitar, and Neil Swainson on bass are among the attributes that make this CD a success. They immerse the listener in a variety of musical moods and set the tone on this one-of-a-kind musical terrain with a distinctive subdued passion. John Pizzarelli meets the same self-imposed standards he set on "Let There Be Love" and continues to deliver the goods with enthusiasm, earnest humility, and charm.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein