John Pizzarelli and the Swing 7

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:3 mins read

John Pizzarelli and the Swing 7

Birdland, New York, July 23, 2019

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

John Pizzarelli
Photo: David Andrako

John Pizzarelli’s new show is a marvelous combination of jazz, the Great American Songbook, and humor. He is backed by the Swing Seven, a group that truly swings with the best. Guest star Jessica Molaskey, Pizzarelli’s wife, joined him for two duets in which their distinct talents meshed wonderfully. Pizzarelli’s natural sense of humor shines throughout the entire show.

His off-the-cuff remarks are often hilarious and help make this show constantly entertaining.

online pharmacy generic

His vocal style works well on every number and his guitar solos invariably brought applause from the SRO audience. He gives his musicians ample opportunity to shine in solo turns, and they do.

The show opened with a really swinging “Just You, Just Me,” followed by “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” done with a very different jazzy arrangement. Pizzarelli induced laughter by singing a few bars of “The Wonder of It All,” a song he recorded for a Foxwoods Casino commercial. The band slowed down appropriately for his soft and sweet vocal on “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” which included the verse. The performance of “Lady Be Good” was an old-fashioned jam session, with each of the musicians taking turns to dazzle with their solos.

Pizzarelli slowed things down to perform Molaskey’s favorite song, “These Foolish Things,” perfectly.

online pharmacy generic

buy xenical Canada no prescription

She then joined him for a hilarious duet on Stephen Sondheim’s “The Little Things You Do Together.” Their voices then blended nicely for “A Fine Romance.” 2020 is the centennial year for Peggy Lee, and Molaskey paid homage to her by performing “Waiting for the Train to Come In,” à la Lee.

The show closed with a medley of Duke Ellington-related tunes, including Juan Tizol’s “Perdido,” which featured a set of lyrics written by Molaskey for the opening bars. Pizzarelli then turned “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” into a short story by beginning in the bluesy key of G minor for the phrase “Missed the Saturday dance,” and then having the band really swing when they got to the phrase “Thought I’d visit the club.” The encore was another explosive jam session by the Swing 7 and Pizzarelli.

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.