I successfully got few pages accomplished of my other “New Years Project” (I’m actually going to attempt to write a book) so now while HRH is squirreled away in her room with her friend eating chips and Kelly is crushing candy in bed, I’m relaxing back into the EZ-Boy for another few chapters of my book (‘Road Trip Rwanda‘, Will Ferguson) and another acquisition from this afternoon’s discount vinyl bender, ‘Solo Flight‘ by Bucky Pizzarelli.
Yes, I bought it simply because it had an airplane on the cover (bitch!).
But, seriously, the dudes name is Bucky Pizzarelli, how can one not take a chance on this album for $2.00?
Not this guy.
So, first off: who the hell is Bucky Pizarelli, right?
Well, Bucky is an American jazz guitarist and banjoist, and the father of jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and upright bassist Martin Pizzarelli. He has collaborated with other noted musicians such as Les Paul, Stéphane Grappelli, and Benny Goodman. So Bucky seems to be a pretty heavy hitter when it comes to playing jazz guitar.
Good to know.
This album, released in 1986, is a set of unaccompanied seven-string swing jazz guitar solos, which Bucky decided to focus on superior standards that he considered underplayed. It does seem ironic in hindsight that he included Thelonious Monk‘s ‘Round Midnight‘, which after Monk’s death in the 1980s was covered practically as much as a major pop tune. Most of the other songs are actually not all that obscure (Bix Beiderbecke’s ‘Candlelights‘ and George Gershwin’s ‘Blah! Blah! Blah!‘ come the closest). To Pizzarelli’s credit, he does not stick exclusively to ballads and does a particularly fine job on Charlie Christian’s ‘Solo Flight‘, from which the album title was taken.
It’s a strong effort by an underrated but brilliant guitarist, recorded live at Lobel’s studio in West New York, New Jersey.
Swing jazz from New Jersey?
But, yes, it has a plane on it.