John Pizzarelli Trio (with special guest Ken Peplowski) - Will's New York Nite Life

John Pizzarelli Trio (with special guest Ken Peplowski)

John Pizzarelli Trio (with special guest Ken Peplowski)

Birdland

315 W 44th Street, (212) 581-3080

Through Thursday (January 26), and returning to Birdland Tuesday (February 28) through Saturday (March 4)

The unfailingly entertaining guitarist-singer returns to his roots with a super tight trio of guitar, piano (Konrad Paszkudzki) and bass (Mike Karn) – the same format that he started with 30 years ago, cast in the mold of the great Nat King Cole Trio of the 1940s. Both in his career and in parts of his opening set at Birdland, he has expanded his purview to include such latter day developments as the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Só Danço Samba”) and Paul McCartney (“Heart of the Country”). Still the primary focus is the music of the Cole Trio and other inter-related pianist -songwriter-funsters, like Bobby Troup (“Hungry Man”) and Fats Waller (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”). You’d have to look hard to find a jazz musician who puts on a funnier show or engages an audience more completely, especially when he’s joined by the equally uproarious clarinetist Ken Peplowski. Two irrepressible cut-ups, together they delivered a stunningly lovely “I’ll Be Tired of You” as well as a completely gonzo dysfunctional rending of “Happy Birthday.”

Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, October 2017)

SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)