Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Telarc
Genre(s): Jazz, Vocal, Standards, Jazz Instrument, Guitar Jazz, American Popular Song, Vocal Jazz, Traditional Pop
This will come as a surprise to everyone who had John Pizzarelli tagged as a latter-day swing crooner who also plays some tasty guitar. Born in 1960, he is, in fact, a second-generation jazz guitarist, his father being the great Bucky P. This is a collection of 13 songs from his own generation, all given surprising new treatments. The Beatles meet Lee Morgan, Tom Waits meets Billy Strayhorn, James Taylor meets Joe Henderson and they both meet Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
John Pizzarelli is the most engaging of all jazz musicians, a charmer in concert, a warm host on a throwback radio show, and a singer who tosses off songs with a cool nonchalance that seems almost too easy. Graced with good looks and an attachment to fine suits and a swing-based rhythm feeling, Pizzarelli manages to be both youthfully funny and old-fashioned at once. And so Double Exposure is arguably the ultimate John Pizzarelli collection.
On this album, jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli pays simultaneous tribute to the pop music of his adolescence (Steely Dan, Billy Joel, the Allman Brothers, Elvis Costello) and the jazz tradition in which he, as a member of the celebrated Pizzarelli dynasty, was steeped from his earliest years. The album title refers to the fact that the program takes classic pop songs and puts them in jazz settings: thus you'll hear a cool bossa nova arrangement of Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris," a completely natural lounge-lizard setting of Tom Waits' "Drunk on the Moon," and a hard-swinging, boppish version of James Taylor's "Traffic Jam" that sounds like it was written for the Manhattan Transfer and incorporates the Joe Henderson composition "The Kicker. " There's nothing particularly revolutionary about this idea: the line separating pop music and jazz has always been fuzzy anyway, and many jazz standards are actually show tunes.