World on a String: A Musical Memoirby John Pizzarelli, Joseph Cosgriff
In World on a String, John Pizzarelli, the son of guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, shows his rare storytelling gift as he tells the engaging, moving, and often hilarious tale of a life filled from the start with music and joy. A connoisseur of the American songbook and the rich history of jazz, John received his first banjo and guitar lessons from two uncles,/i>… See more details below
In World on a String, John Pizzarelli, the son of guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, shows his rare storytelling gift as he tells the engaging, moving, and often hilarious tale of a life filled from the start with music and joy. A connoisseur of the American songbook and the rich history of jazz, John received his first banjo and guitar lessons from two uncles, professional musicians who had taught his father to play, and he grew up surrounded by talented musicians who knew how to spin a yarn. Benny Goodman, Les Paul, and many other jazz greats were regular visitors to his home, and it's been a fantastic musical journey ever since.
Absorbing, upbeat, and down to earth, World on a String perfectly captures John's warm and funny tone as he tells the story of a musical life well lived. He conveys the thrill he felt when, during a break between sets at a New York jazz club, he was offered his first recording contract, and he recalls the heady days when he and his trio opened for John's musical hero, the legendary Frank Sinatra, during Sinatra's final world tour. John shares stories about working with music greats from Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney to James Taylor and Paul McCartney, and he takes you behind the scenes at the weekly radio program he hosts with his wife, singer Jessica Molaskey.
Filled with dozens of rare personal photos from John's life and career as well as John's priceless inside information on how he's come to incorporate distinct guitar and string combinations with various amplifiers and microphones to help him get his signature sound, World on a String is an absorbing and deliciously entertaining celebration of life, family, and music.
- Turner Publishing Company
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What People are saying about this
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"They say great musicians should play, not talk. John Pizzarelli is the exception. His book is as breezy, melodic, and lyrical as one of his concerts, and he captures both the love and laughter of a life in music with virtuosic skill."
—Mitch Albom, author of The Time Keeper and Tuesdays with Morrie
"John Pizzarelli is one of the most entertaining performers you'll ever see on a stage. He's perfection: a musician, a singer, a comedian. And now with World on a String, it turns out that John's a perfect author, too. You're going to love it."
—Regis Philbin, television host
"World on a String is engaging, well written, heartfelt, and insightful. I'm impressed by John's recall and by the way he can recreate a moment and convey a warm sense of all these characters. I love that he even included Paul Lynde!"
—Michael Feinstein, performer and composer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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For those of you who have seen John Pizzarelli in concert, attended BLOHARDS lunches over the past 25+ years, or can't decide whether your favorite version of "I Like Jersey Best" is the Paul Simon version or the Beach Boys, it will come as no surprise that this debut offering from John Pizzarelli and Joseph Cosgriff is a highly entertaining read. The book is much more than a memoir. It is really a history of jazz and cabaret music in New York that bridges the eras of Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Benny Goodman, and the days of the "Tonight Show" band in New York City, with the modern day jazz scene. The book is also a lovely tribute to Bucky Pizzarelli, whose contributions to jazz and pop music over the decades are unparalleled. The chapter on Frank Sinatra is particularly interesting, as it provides rarely discussed insights into what life on the road during a Sinatra tour was like for the musicians. In particular, the authors go out of their way to praise Frank Sinatra, Jr. for his role as Band Leader. You leave this chapter with a real appreciation for "Junior" and what it is like to go through pre show rehearsals and preparations for an act like Sinatra. Chapters involving Benny Goodman, affectionately referred to as "KOS", and Rosemary Clooney, who John often collaborated with at Rainbow & Stars and on an album of Brazilian music, are also highly entertaining. The book also highlights John Pizzarelli's radio career with some amusing stories and offers some insights for actors involved in under-funded Broadway productions. The "My Favorite Things" and "Frequently Asked Questions " (FAQ) sections in the back are nice touches that share numerous obscure, humorous facts about Pizzarelli. For example, I always thought "Doobie Wah" was John's favorite song from "Frampton Comes Alive". It turns out to be "Shine On". All in, this is much more than a biography. This is a history book that will bring back lots of memories for people who have followed the New York music scene over the past 40 years. And, to quote John, "Music is Good".