John Pizzarelli

New Standards

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This is a very different John Pizzarelli recording. Although there are a few trio numbers and some swinging pieces included, the singer/guitarist also performs several originals, a pair of Leiber & Stoller songs, and a variety of pop-oriented numbers. In addition to pianist Ray Kennedy (who plays organ part of the time) and bassist Martin Pizzarelli, there are extra musicians on many of the tracks. The emphasis is on the leader's vocalizing on ballads; his voice is personable but not all that flexible, and quite a few of the numbers are forgettable. Whose idea was it to remake the early-'50s Rosemary Clooney hit "Come On-A My House," with Kennedy playing some corny harpsichord? And, although the CD's title is New Standards, one can easily wager that none of the newer songs are going to be covered by other singers. Only John Pizzarelli's charm makes this CD moderately interesting.

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