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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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With a Song in my Heart

Telarc CD 83676



1. With A Song In My Heart
2. This Can't Be Love
3. I Like To Recognise The Tune
4. It's Easy To Remember
5. Johnny One Note
6. Nobody's Heart
7. Happy Talk
8. Mountain Greenery
9. I Have Dreamed
10. The Lady Is A Tramp
11. She Was Too Good To Me
12. You've Got To Be Carefully Taught

John Pizzarelli - Guitar, vocals
Larry Fuller - Piano
Martin Pizzarelli - Bass
Tony Tedesco - Drums
John Mosca - Trombone, baritone horn (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11)
Andy Fusco - Alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11)
Kenny Berger - Baritone sax, bass clarinet (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11)
Tony Kadleck - Trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11)
Don Sebesky - Swing Seven arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11)
Bucky Pizzarelli - Guitar (track 4)
Cesar Camargo Mariano - Piano (track 7)

John Pizzarelli seems to have been appearing on almost as many albums as I've had hot dinners. My reviews of his previous work suggest that I like both his singing and his guitar-playing, but I start to feel that he is doing so many recordings as to make the listener feel somewhat sated.

Subtitled "John Pizzarelli sings the music of Richard Rodgers", this CD contains three songs composed by Rodgers & Hammerstein - all the rest are by Rodgers & Hart. Many of the songs are very familiar, although John also includes lesser-known items like Nobody's Heart (from the 1942 musical By Jupiter) and She Was Too Good To Me (apparently dropped from the 1930 musical Simple Simon before it reached Broadway). The former is given a Shearing Quintet feel by the backing group.

In fact pianist Larry Fuller is excellent throughout the album. John's father Bucky Pizzarelli guests on It's Easy to Remember, sounding uncannily like Les Paul. The Lady is a Tramp is very hackneyed but given new life by Pizzarelli's wild scatting in tune with his guitar solo and exchanging fours with the instrumentalists.

My reasons for thinking that John Pizzarelli may be spreading himself too widely include some worrying flaws in several of his vocals. For example, in Happy Talk he wanders dangerously off-key and away from the melody. And the tune of Mountain Greenery goes astray occasionally. Although it's unlikely that John will ever make a thoroughly bad album, and his guitar work is as thrilling as ever, this CD fails to come up to his highest standard.
Tony Augarde



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