Review: John Pizzarelli & His Quartet

John Pizzarelli always scales the heights of cabaret’s jazzier side with astonishing musicianship and elan. This remains true whether he’s leading a big band or a small combo. His current engagement at Birdland is billed as the John Pizzarelli Quartet, but when John did a head count at the top of the show, he counted five musicians, and then decided to call it “John Pizzarelli and his Quartet.”

Pizzarelli works with a profound musical intelligence. John has a particular genius is in his chordal improvisations, finding hidden musical meanings in the most familiar of standards. Only this evening isn’t about standards in the way most of John’s shows are. Instead Pizzarelli focuses on pop / rock singer /songwriters starting with less well known songs like Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” and Broce Spingteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” and moving to bigger hits like Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and Elton John’s “Honky Cat.”

For previous cabaret acts, John had often subtly framed songs “in the style of” a particular jazzman. Here, however, he is commits to doing these pop songs in a jazzy Pizzarelli family style, saying early on that “we’ll play lots of different songs, but they will all sound something like that – and that’s the way we like it!!!”

It’s common courtesy in a jazz setting to applaud for a bit after everbody’s solos, and indeed bandleader John frequently points at one of the instrumentalists as if to say “give it up for so-and-so”! More often in this show, though, the onslaught of flashy jazziness is so relentless that you don’t applaud for fear of missing something amazing. Neither jazz nor cabaret gets much better than this.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

One thought on “Review: John Pizzarelli & His Quartet

  1. SELF denied Holy Warrior for Jesus Holy Trinity

    LGBTQiA, 2 word’s: GENESIS 19! < they, porn industry, etc past – to date BROKE the moral code set forth by God! HAVE BEEN for decade's – tick tock 'time' to date & until coming Judgment Day before Jesus, telling ALL USA – global humanity on this dying Earth = LGBTQiA, 2 word's: GENESIS 19! U rise 4 HIM (6 day’s) & 3 in 1 – 1 in 3 HT or spend eternity in Hell WISHING U had! WE CLEAR?!

    Fool’s pull out MLK Jr Day (annual Martin Luther King) out of the closest like some dusty, old Christmas decorating tree, POINT: you human’s AIN’T even hearing what that man, late, fellow human Brother, just another Son of Adam / Eve said > character, NOT color, ya getting ya C’s mixed up stuck on stupid.

    But hey, MLK, like (x) # amount before him (history), do the right thing (though imperfect human, yeah), & One just gets (!), yea, well, you know, how radio host Larry Elder says, ‘That’s how they roll’;

    Yea, well THEY (x) # amount on Coming, human incomprehensible, Holy, Reckoning, Judicial, Retributory / Retributionary, Scene of ALL Scene’s, 1st of 2, Day of Judgment are gonna ROLL their NON-self owned, eternal breath mist energy / soul / spirit a_s_ses straight directly into, (along with Lucifer / Satan the beast): human incomprehensible, eternal, sulfur scented & stenched, spaceless & limitless, Lake of Fire!

    Re: LGBTQiA, 2 word’s: GENESIS 19! William Bruce Jenner WILL BE AS HE WAS BORN, NOT OF HIS OWN CHOICE & SHALL DIE AS William Bruce Jenner, PERIOD!

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    Like exhibitedly other’s who chose i.f.w. – ill free will usage, thus, be Lucifer’s / Satan’s human court jester & bitch, & give that beast just something else to laugh at & an endless humor show.

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