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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 4, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 22
A Dyke About Town: Bucky Pizzarelli still has it
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Bucky Pizzarelli still has it

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Bucky Pizzarelli
Bucky Pizzarelli and his trio presented an evening of lush ballads at Jazz Alley on May 24. Pizzarelli's fingers on his guitar were knowing. Jeff Johnson's bass was smart. D'Vonne Lewis was hot on drums.

They opened with 'Tangerine.' Two Richard Rodgers songs - 'Easy to Remember' and 'This Nearly Was Mine' - followed nicely. Duke Ellington's 'Mellow Tune' featured drums and bass.

'Stars in Your Eyes' was pleasing. 'Nouage,' a Django Reinhardt tune, was well presented. Lewis did a nice solo on 'Sing, Sing, Sing.' Johnson was the focus of 'Body and Soul.' Nice renditions of 'These Precious Things' and 'In a Mist' followed.

Pizzarelli said he would answer a few questions. He was asked how long he had played guitar, and he said 65 years. Mercy thought his maturity showed.

Bucky told about touring Europe with Benny Goodman and an English band. 'The piano player played with one finger missing. He played so fast, the band shouted, 'Take off another one.'

A woman called out, 'Can I buy you a drink after the show?' He said, 'Sure. All I drink is Ovaltine.'

'Twilight Time' followed. 'Satin Doll' featured drums. Bass was the focus of 'Honeysuckle Rose.'

He got two standing ovations from the audience, including from Mercy, who doesn't give them that often. The encore was 'Undecided.'

Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks
Cuteness had a conflict, so Mercy asked her friend Jollyness to come to the Dan Hicks show on May 29 at the Triple Door. The sold-out crowd mostly had gray hair, like Mercy and Jollyness.

Hicks' voice was phenomenally smooth. His guitar work was rocking. The backup singers, Daria and Roberta Donnay, had tight harmonies. Benito Cortez played amazing violin and mandolin solos throughout the night.

The group opened with 'Milkshake Mama,' an original about a romance at a soda fountain. Mercy liked the lines 'We got married and had a bunch of little jerks.' Dan joked, 'We don't get paid by the song. We get paid by the hour.'

'I've Got Mine,' by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin, was satisfying. 'That Ain't Right' was another fun original, as was 'How Can I Miss You, When You Won't Go Away?' Dan said, 'I used to play with the Beatles. It's hard to go on from a group like that.'

Hicks did a nice rendition of Tom Waits' 'The Piano Has Been Drinking.' Cortez' violin medley of 'Honeysuckle Rose,' 'Take the 'A' Train,' 'Paper Moon,' and 'Sheik of Araby' was pleasing. 'Canned Music,' another original, followed. 'Long Come a Viper' was an original that satisfied with its fast lyrics.

'I Scare Myself' was a fine cover. Roberta and Daria knocked the ball out of the park with 'Waitress in a Donut Shop.' Jim Kweskin's 'Blues My Baby Gave to Me' and Jon Hendricks' 'Tell Me the Truth' followed. 'Buzzard and his Friend' was four-bar blues.

One encore, 'Reeling Drum,' was sweet and slow in contrast to the rest of the night. The other one, 'Old Highway,' picked up the pace again.

Jollyness said, 'He has a good line of patter. Where else would I get to see a Beatle?'

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