John Paul Pizzarelli, 9 January 1926, Paterson, New Jersey, USA. Although a self-taught guitarist, Pizzarelli quickly showed a comprehensive grasp of the guitars potential. Beginning his professional career in 1943 with the Vaughn Monroe dance band, he played in large and small combos, worked as a NBC staff musician, and as accompanist to singers, and even ventured into the classical field. He became a regular sideman with the later bands formed by Benny Goodman and in the 70s also appeared with Soprano Summit, the fine small band co-led by Bob Wilber and Kenny Davern, sometimes playing banjo. The 70s also saw him working with fellow guitarist George Barnes and with Zoot Sims, Bud Freeman and Stéphane Grappelli. He has also toured as a solo and in the 80s formed a duo with his son, John Pizzarelli, also a gifted guitarist, with whom he recorded the album Swinging Sevens.
One of the finest of the mainstream guitarists in jazz,...
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