John Pizzarelli’s Fave String Benders

John Pizzarelli

Far from being a mere jazz guitarist, John Pizzarelli has cast a far broader creative net in the nearly four decades that he’s been a working musician. The son of well-renowned guitarist Bucky, the younger Pizzarelli has flexed his fingers in dabbling with material recorded by the likes of The Beatles, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young along with requisite more jazz-centric artists including Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. It’s a musical dexterity that has served him well, particularly on his recent return to bossa nova that is 2017’s Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, a nod to the storied 1967 album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. Not unlike his pop, Pizzarelli’s instrument of choice is the seven-string guitar. The following are some of his favorite guitarists.

George Van Eps

 

 

 

George Van Epps (Aug. 7, 1913 to Nov. 29, 1998)
“He’s the inventor of the seven-string guitar and he made so many great records. My dad and I both play the seven-string, but his solo records are so unique.”

 

 

Oscar Moore

 

 

 

Oscar Moore (Dec. 25, 1915 to Oct. 8, 1981)
“He played all facets of the guitar. He’d play rhythm in the group and he could play chords, solos and single notes. He encompassed what the entire guitar is all about.”

 

 

 

George Barnes

George Barnes (July 17, 1921 to Sept. 5, 1977)
The single-note guy is a fellow named George Barnes, who worked with my father. He was an electric guitar player out of Chicago who played the fiercest single-note guitar. If you find him online, it’s amazing what he did. He worked with my dad from around 1968 to 1972 and a lot of the stuff that he did, I learned early on. That’s the stuff that I learned off the records that my dad made with him. They made two records together.”

 

 

Peter Frampton

 

 

 

Peter Frampton (April 22, 1950-present)
“I learned so many things when I was 16. Everything off of Frampton Comes Alive I played all the time. That was huge for me.”

 

 

 

João Gilberto

Joao Gilberto (June 10, 1931-present)
“While I was learning Nat King Cole in the 1980s from the records, I got an album called Amoroso and [Joao] played all this beautiful bossa nova guitar. And he was the same guy who was on the Getz/Gilberto record. So all of my boss nova came from that language. So in the same year that I was learning Nat Cole and Oscar Moore, I discovered Joao Gilberto and I had that moment of realizing how to play that [style of music]. So that record in particular was important.”

 

Joao Gilberto (June 10, 1931-present)
“While I was learning Nat King in the 1980s from the records, I got an album called Amoroso and [Joao] played all this beautiful bossa nova guitar. And he was the same guy who was on the Getz/Gilberto record. So all of my boss nova came from that language. So in the same year that I was learning Nat Cole and Oscar Moore, I discovered Joao Gilberto and I had that moment of realizing how to play that [style of music]. So that record in particular was important.”

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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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