There is nothing flashy about Pizzarelli’s voice: Its range is slight, its projection small. In spite of, or perhaps because of, those limitations, it’s also a voice that is eminently charming and persuasive. So is the guitar accompaniment. But no surprise there; John’s father is guitar great Bucky.
Pizzarelli fils, who sounds much like Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Frank, brings buoyance and insouciance to “Three Little Words” and “I Know That You Know” and big-band pizzazz to “All of Me.” Singing ahead of the beat, he injects a surprisingly effective bossa nova flavor into Gershwin’s “S’ Wonderful” but unaccountably reverses the order of the lyrics.
The pain of loss is palpable in “This Will Make You Laugh,” the pain of leaving palpable in “For All We Know.” One of the real pleasures here is Pizzarelli’s own composition, the haunting Jobim-influenced “The River Is Blue.” It more than makes up for the album’s one clinker, “Love Falls into Place,” also a Pizzarelli composition with such unworthy lyrics as “There’s a certain sound/Of my heart/when I look at you/It begins to pound/It begins to beat/So true.” Fast forward. (RCA/Novus)