The Flying Fish label always seemed to specialize in pairing top-notch jazz artists with equally talented players from bluegrass and country. This 1977 duo date is no exception, as the extraordinary seven-string electric guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli joins forces with pedal steel guitarist Doug Jernigan for a session dominated by pieces from the Great American Songbook and the jazz canon. Obviously, they warmed to one another's styles and quickly put together some basic on-the-spot arrangements without much delay; it would be surprising to learn that this record took more than one studio session to complete. They especially excel when playing uptempo arrangements of favorites from the swing era ("Honeysuckle Rose" and "Limehouse Blues"), while Jernigan's ability to rapidly bend notes on his instrument adds a new dimension to ballads such as "All the Things You Are" and "Moonlight in Vermont." Several of the selections are devoted to solos; Pizzarelli's take of George M. Smith's infrequently performed "Slow Burning" and Jernigan's interpretation of the folk song "Shenandoah" are the high points. This LP has been unavailable since the unfortunate demise of Flying Fish, though it is well worth digging through websites and record stores for fans of great guitarists.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden