Pisano & Ruff / John Pisano / Willie Ruff

Under the Blanket

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This unusual meeting between guitarist John Pisano and French horn player Willie Ruff was recorded in the mid-'60s for A&M, with arrangements by both musicians and producer Herb Alpert. The supporting cast includes a variety of popular session musicians, including drummer Paul Humphreys and bassists Chuck Berghofer and Chuck Domanico, along with Julius Wechter, leader of the Baja Marimba Band. Though both Pisano and Ruff have impeccable jazz credentials, the music falls somewhere between jazz and easy listening. The stronger cuts are the originals (three each by Pisano and Ruff) and the weaker ones covers of pop tunes like Burt Bacharach's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," Paul Williams' lightweight "The Drifter," and especially the horribly over-produced rendition of "El Condor Pasa." Jazz fans should not bother to look for this obscure release.