Legendary guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and his son John team up for an exciting series of guitar duets showcasing their like-minded, straight ahead, swinging approach to timeless jazz standards. On the aptly titled Generations, their second teaming for Arbor Records, the first family of jazz guitar explore some of the classic and not so classic gems from the American songbook. There are also a few solo tracks highlighting the slightly more modern approach of John ("I’ll Remember April," "The Way You Look Tonight") and Bucky’s love of classical guitar ("Sonatina," "Variation and Fugue #9 on La Folia").
Paying homage to a handful of legendary jazz musicians who have shaped the musical careers of both Pizzarelli’s, Generations is a well conceived tribute to Zoot Sims ("Fred"), Bud Freeman ("At Sundown"), George Barnes ("Rose Room"), George Van Eps ("I’ll Remember April," "The Way You Look Tonight"), and The King of Swing, Benny Goodman ("Avalon").
Most striking about the session is the stylistic simpatico between father and son. John’s playing is deeply entrenched in the old school swing style of Bucky’s generation. The two trade off rhythm and lead duties effortlessly, making it, at times, anyone’s guess as to who’s playing what.
Highlights of the disc, and there are many, include: the up tempo "Avalon" with its blazing single note runs and block chord explosions; the relaxed rendition of "How Long Has This Been Going On," a plaintive and highly lyrical outlet; and "Graham Avenue Stroll," a bluesy nod to Bucky’s childhood stomping grounds in New Jersey.
Generations is an absolute must have for any fan of jazz guitar or for those who simply have a penchant for feel good, swinging music.