Monday, May 14, 2012

Pizzarelli's Generations; Sandoval Honors Diz - Bob Stewart

For nearly 30 years, guitarist John Pizzarelli has explored various corners of the jazz landscape and merged a variety of styles into a single, distinctive signature sound. On any given recording, one is likely to encounter an entertaining convergence of jazz, swing, American songbook, pop, bossa nova and more. Pizzarelli's latest recording -- "Double Exposure" -- focuses on a collection of tunes by some of the great pop songwriters of his own generation that are framed squarely within traditional jazz arrangements. He draws from a diverse pool of some of the best songwriters of the past five decades, including Neil Young, Lennon & McCartney, Leiber & Stoller, Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell.

"Dear Diz" is trumpeter Arturo Sandoval's tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who literally rescued him and his family from an oppressive existence in Cuba and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The disc is a collection of classics from Gillespie's massive body of work, each framed in big-band arrangements that throw the spotlight squarely on the elements of bebop that underscore so much of the iconic trumpeter's work. Backing Sandoval on the project is a crew of top-shelf artists including Gary Burton, Bob Mintzer, Joey DeFrancesco and Eddie Daniels. Credit for the smoking arrangements goes to some of L.A.'s best, including Gordon Goodwin, Chris Walden, Dan Higgins and Shelly Berg.

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