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  1. #1

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    Legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli dies at 94:

    Legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli dies at 94 - NJArts.net

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    oh my, speechless, though most certainly a life well lived, he literally did it all. disciple of the Eddie Lang Carl Kress/Dick McDonough school early on and just covered everything and then some afterwards.
    I think some or us, even guys on this forum have played and or interacted w him at some point, very personable old school cat that bridged many styles especially in the studios. maybe not often mentioned as one of the 'greats' but don't get it twisted, a master guitar player.
    One particular time caught him in a solo performance at Temple University in Philly in the 80s playin his old DA snakehead [yo sgcim] he was outstanding and what a sound from that guitar! he even tackled Concerto De Aranuez that night, a friend and I hung out w him earlier,he was full of great old stories..
    isn't that him on Roberta Flack's The First Time? I think so...
    rip Maestro...


    Last edited by wintermoon; 04-02-2020 at 03:13 AM.

  4. #3

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    I was beginning to think he would go on forever. What a contribution he made! He will be sorely missed by many.

  5. #4

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    I was very sad to hear the news this morning. He’s had a long and happy life and I am glad for that. He was one of the greatest swing guitar players ever, his son John being another. In particular, he’s one of the greatest rhythm guitar players and chord melody players on record.

    I’m sure he will be sorely missed by those who were around him. For me, I’ll miss the idea that he’s still around dispensing swing wisdom. But heaven has been a more swinging place since yesterday.

    RIP Bucky!

    (To those more knowledgeable: what is the jazz standard you’d immediately associate with him?)

  6. #5

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    The DVD he made with Frank Vignola, 'Favourite Solos' is an hour well spent....I assume he called the tunes.

  7. #6

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    I had a couple of lessons from Bucky when I switched to 7-string guitar (at his urging), and he was generous and warm. I met the boys when they were quite young, and opened for John on his Ellington tour in Boston and Providence. Bucky was a master and a pioneer, a towering figure on the jazz guitar scene.

  8. #7

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    Always seemed like a great guy who enjoyed life.

    What a player.

    RIP.

  9. #8

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    I met Bucky twice when he came to Toronto. He gave me a two-hour lesson one morning at his hotel and refused my offer of payment. He was a warm, generous human being and a master of the instrument. He’ll be missed.

  10. #9

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    Bucky plays some extraordinary solos on this LP for the 70s.




  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV
    Bucky plays some extraordinary solos on this LP for the 70s.



    Big fan of Bucky and how most of his solos used chords instead of single line playing. Another album he did with Zoot Sims is a Rune Gustafsson Pablo release, The Sweetest Sounds. Rune was also a fine guitar player. When I first saw this I wondered why there were two guitar players (hey this isn't gypsy jazz). Well since Bucky's style was so different than most other jazz guitarist, there was no clashing with Rune; they complement each other.


  12. #11

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    rip. a friend sent me this beautiful piece from john pizzarelli's facebook:

    From John Pizzarelli


    Imagine you are born in the first industrialized city in the US to a grocer and his wife in the late 1920’s. The wife’s brothers play banjo, mandolin and a little guitar.

    They give you lessons after school and tell you who all the major musicians of time are and that you should be aware of them, honor them and strive to be that good. They mention Benny Goodman, Eddie Lang, Django Reinhardt. You play in bands in High School and during the Christmas break your senior year, you actually go on the road with an orchestra. You’re back in class January 2nd after spending the holiday with Vaughn Monroe.

    You’re drafted into the army and after that stint you’re back in the band with Vaughn, playing all over the country for six years and traveling by bus.

    You settle down and get married and start to work in NYC. The studios are hot. You meet Nat Cole on a record date (Looking Back), play rhythm guitar for Ray Charles (Georgia on my Mind) and provide backing for all the hits of the new artists of the day-Dion and The Belmonts, Del Shannon, Leslie Gore, The Four Seasons and more.

    All the while practicing and perfecting your craft as a jazz guitarist, playing gigs late into the night after working at NBC or ABC on The Tonight Show, Dick Cavett or the first Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell.

    In the back of your head there’s the voices of those uncles, so what happens? You work for Benny Goodman from 1964-1985. Joe Venuti, the violinist with Eddie Lang, hears your guitar and you make a number of great records together. Stephane Grapelli, Django’s violinist, calls and you work with him for several years. Well, you know whose story this is and I haven’t told the half of it, but it’s amazing what rooms Bucky Pizzarelli ended up in.

    For instance, playing with Les Paul at the St Regis, encouraging him to start playing again in the early 70’s; Accompanying Julie London at the Americana in the 60’s (read the reviews and there is always a great mention of their duets); his trio at the Pierre hotel which Whitney Balliett described as “great jazz disguised hotel music” and numerous record dates with everyone from Tony Bennett, Carly Simon, Janis Ian (at seventeen) to Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

    The last twenty years of the over 70 as a professional musician, was in numerous duo’s and trios with John Bunch and Jay Leonhart, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden, Ed Laub and Bucky’s sons, Martin and myself.

    I apologize if I missed anything or anyone, it’s a crazy time and I just wanted to get something down.

    My father was a mentor to so many guitarists both professional and amateur. Always doling our advice, always encouraging, always in tune and always ready for a record date.

    He was a wonderful dad. He was a decent bocce player, a New York football Giants fan and for some reason liked the Yankees. But, he was music first and foremost and it showed in his artistry. He taught himself classical guitar! Played the literature, like a jazz guitarist, which is the only way I can hear it now. I’ll add more later but I wanted to raise my glass to this amazing man. If you want to do him a favor, send some money to the Jazz Foundation. JFA.org or call Joe Petrucelli there at 212-245-3999 ext 10-thanks for listening.

    - John Pizzarelli

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by radiofm74
    RIP Bucky!

    (To those more knowledgeable: what is the jazz standard you’d immediately associate with him?)

    "Someone to Watch Over Me"

  14. #13

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    rip bucky...he had a long good run

    and yes wm, hes on roberta flacks great lp- first take...billed under his real name john pizzarelli!

    i've had that bucky-zoot-buddy lp ^ since it was released...great record

    rip bp..one of kind


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 04-02-2020 at 06:19 PM. Reason: typo-

  15. #14

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    David O'Rourke (Biography – David O’Rourke)

    mentored by Louis Stewart. who was hired by Benny Goodman at the 1968 (?) Montreux Jazz Fest when Bucky Pizzarrelli was in the band....

    said of all the contacts Louis Stewart gave him on his first trip to New York (he was the only non classical finalist on RTE's Young Musician Of The Year & got to go to NY for a week)

    the only one to call him back was Bucky...who invited him to sit in, & then lined him up for several jobs - O'Rourke said he was only in town for a week & wasn't supposed to work, Bucky called the Union rep & got him the proper papers, & then gave him several of his own gigs....

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    oh my, speechless, though most certainly a life well lived, he literally did it all. disciple of the Eddie Lang Carl Kress/Dick McDonough school early on and just covered everything and then some afterwards.
    I think some or us, even guys on this forum have played and or interacted w him at some point, very personable old school cat that bridged many styles especially in the studios. maybe not often mentioned as one of the 'greats' but don't get it twisted, a master guitar player.
    One particular time caught him in a solo performance at Temple University in Philly in the 80s playin his old DA snakehead [yo sgcim] he was outstanding and what a sound from that guitar! he even tackled Concerto De Aranuez that night, a friend and I hung out w him earlier,he was full of great old stories..
    isn't that him on Roberta Flack's The First Time? I think so...
    rip Maestro...


    Yeah, this is very sad. I met him when he was doing that Italian restaurant gig a few years ago, and I agreed with Roger Borys (an extremely close friend of Bucky's) to pick up my Snakehead D'A at Bucky's gig, after Roger made a new bridge for it that he said would be like the original bridge that John D. had made.
    I got there a little late, and Roger let Bucky play my D'A, and Bucky totally freaked out when he saw the guitar!
    Like WM said, he still had his Snakehead, and Roger said he was able to get such a loud, powerful, strong sound out of my guitar ACOUSTICALLY, that Roger could hear it clearly at any spot in the club!

    When I came in, Jack Wilkins was playing it, and he told me it was the best guitar in the world. I told Bucky that I had seen him play live more than any guitarist during those years in the 70s, when he had that fantastic duo with the great George Barnes. He told me that Barnes had given him the Snakehead when Barnes switched to a new guitar.
    Bucky started yelling at me for using .011s on it, and I felt like I was being reprimanded by my late Italian-American father, whom I had inherited it from! I immediately switched to .012s after that, in case Bucky found out somehow that I was still using .011s!

    Bucky could do more with just a pick and an archtop acoustic guitar than any other guitarist who ever lived, not in terms of single string speed, but in terms of sound. There will never be another one like him. RIP, Bucky...

  17. #16

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    The upright bass player in the last jazz ensemble I gigged with had played with Bucky. I spent a very peasant afternoon with him listening to tapes of old gigs. It was a jazz education in itself. RIP, Mr. Pizzarelli!

  18. #17

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    Thanks for the music and the memories, bud.

  19. #18

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    I've seen John in Cleveland several times at the Nightown. Met him and even played one of his guitars, but never had a chance to see Bucky in person. Wish I had...great guitarist, great man, he'll be missed.

  20. #19

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    History Lesson...

    Part 1 of a 1970 interview (part 2's there too) - as is the interview with John, who's as funny as his dad


  21. #20

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  22. #21

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    Just read that his son believes he died from the Coronavirus as he had tested positive for it on Sunday.

    2 legends passing from this and I imagine there will be more.

    Sigh.....

  23. #22

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    When I’m 90, if I’m spared, I wanna play like him


  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    . I told Bucky that I had seen him play live more than any guitarist during those years in the 70s, when he had that fantastic duo with the great George Barnes. He told me that Barnes had given him the Snakehead when Barnes switched to a new guitar.
    ...
    yeah..seems like lifetimes ago...I saw Bucky and George Barnes on the Tonight Show/Carson..they played a tune (forget which one) but then..they PLAYED..and had such fun with it ..trading very tasty licks and rich chords..though many years ago .. it impressed me to this day..and whenever I hear his name the memory of those two playing comes back fresh and new..

    Im glad his son John can tell some stories of his dad...Bucky will live on as a master player to all who have had contact with him..in person or on recordings...

  25. #24

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    This has probably been posted elsewhere, but it’s one of my absolute favorites. The joy of these 2 men playing together is a wonder to behold.

    Of course the skill involved...Bucky is a comping god...his son got his mom’s looks but his dad’s hands...

    RIP, Bucky.


  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    This has probably been posted elsewhere, but it’s one of my absolute favorites. The joy of these 2 men playing together is a wonder to behold.

    Of course the skill involved...Bucky is a comping god...his son got his mom’s looks but his dad’s hands...

    RIP, Bucky.

    Holy moly!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by radiofm74
    Holy moly!
    indeed...and they are playing 7 string (D'A) guitars...!

    words fail me ..but tears dont..

  28. #27

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    I only saw Bucky once when he came to Savannah Ga in the late 90's as part of a Benedetto Players concert and in conjunction with Bob Benedetto's partnership with Fender/Guild. The concert also had Howard Alden and Jimmy Bruno both were/are no slouches on the guitar but Bucky played his butt off and really wowed the crowd. Godspeed Mr. "Buckskin" and thanks for the memories.

  29. #28

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    My attempt at a tribute to Bucky is below. I posted it in a different thread but this is where I should have put it. I had the pleasure of seeing Bucky with Benny Goodman, with Stephane Grappelli snd others. Always great!


  30. #29

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    Had the pleasure of catching Bucky live in Seattle a few years ago...man, time flies...I think it was 2014 actually. I walked up and introduced myself before the show when he was talking to another table and told him I was a fan, that I had several of his older LP's etc. He was very gracious and kind. When we shook hands it seemed to me that he did not have full use of his right hand, and I remember that when he walked back to stage he was struggling - as a result I was a bit worried about how he might handle the performance.

    Then I remember being blown away at how effortlessly his fingers moved when he played and especially when it came to his turn for a solo. If you can recall that scene in Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith when Yoda struggles to walk but then battles with ninja skills, it was sort of like that (from 1:59 of link:
    )

    I've saw John play live in NYC this past summer in a duo at Mezzrow's and he was really world class! His comping, especially with that fat 7th string, knocked me out.

    RIP Bucky.

  31. #30

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  32. #31

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    This morning I'm listening to Bucky's unaccompanied recording "April Kisses;" just perfection!

  33. #32

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    Mr. Amazing at 85