Monday, May 10, 2010

Good Morning Blues#2: Bucky Affair

The tune was Volare. It suddenly appeared while iPod was doing his shuffle thing, jumping from New Orleans in her heydays to a dying super stereo session in New York of the late 1960s. This uninvited Volare was a part of a heritage inherited to me from my friend/Uncle Ali-Reza. To listen to anything from his treasury, one needs wide open ears and Volare proved it one more time. Volare started with a bright swinging vibe introduction by master Lionel Hampton that session was recorded under his leadership as Lionel Hampton and Friends in 1977.

Then came the moment: one of the most floating sounds ever produced of strings. A Swing in full force, but at ease and like the sound of a man who is enjoying every breath he breathes. Life was glowing from every little note he was playing. His vibration was like a heartbeat: gentle, necessary and steadfast. A quick look at my discography book revealed his name: Bucky Pizzarelli. That was the first time I heard him and I won’t never forget that 'First.'

John Paul "Bucky" Pizzarelli (born January 9, 1926) is an American Jazz guitarist that has been a fixture in jazz and the studios since the early '50s. Self-taught, Pizzarelli has long been a master of the seven-string guitar. He toured with Vaughn Monroe before and after a stint in the military. In 1952, he joined the staff of NBC and 12 years later switched to ABC; in addition, he worked with the Three Sounds (1956-1957) and had several tours with Benny Goodman. In the 1970s he was more active in jazz, co-leading a duo with George Barnes and working with Zoot Sims, Bud Freeman, and St├ęphane Grappelli, among many others. Pizzarelli acknowledges Django Reinhardt and Freddie Green for their influences on his style and mode of play. He is 84 now, still alive and on.
--Ehsan Khoshbakht

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