Behind the scenes in the life of a musician—an exuberant, entertaining memoir from jazz guitarist, singer, and raconteur John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli, the son of jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, is a connoisseur of American song who grew up among the legends of jazz. From teenage explorations of rock music to life on the road with his father, he worked his way from gigs in tiny clubs to opening for Frank Sinatra during his final international tour. Now Pizzarelli performs in festivals and top venues across the United States and the world, and he shares his unique journey in this revealing, charming, and heartwarming memoir.
- Includes firsthand stories of famous jazz greats and popular music icons including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Benny Goodman, Joe Pass, James Taylor, and Paul McCartney
- Reveals what it was like to grow up among great musicians and storytellers and shares the day-to-day experiences of a touring musician's life
- Includes thirty-five terrific photographs that take you inside John Pizzarelli's life and music
- Part of the Wiley-Lincoln Center alliance
Absorbing, upbeat, funny, and down to earth, World on a String is an irresistible celebration of music and life that will appeal to John Pizzarelli's large and growing following.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
JOHN PIZZARELLI has enjoyed a more than thirty-year career as a jazz guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. His syndicated radio program, Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli, cohosted with his wife, Jessica Molaskey, airs in more than one hundred markets. He began his recording career in 1980 and has appeared on more than two hundred record albums, twenty-five as a singer and leader. His performance highlights include headlining concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center, opening for Frank Sinatra's World Tour in 1993, accompanying Paul McCartney as part of an iTunes live streaming concert in February 2012, and an annual month-long engagement with his wife, Jessica, at New York's Café Carlyle.
JOSEPH COSGRIFF is a writer, songwriter, and speaker who lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Jonathan Schwartz xi
1 When I Was a Little Boy 1
2 Rock and Roll High School 15
3 Travels with Bucky 29
How I Met My Mother 49
4 Sing, Sing, Sing 53
5 The King of Swing: Benny 75
My Mother’s Eggplant 88
6 Raised on Radio 91
7 On the Road 111
8 Counting My Blessings: Loving Rosie 123
9 Come Fly with Me: My Travels with Mr. Sinatra 145
10 Team Dream 167
11 On Broadway 177
12 On the Road (Again) 193
13 Let Me off Uptown (but with a Stop at 76th and Madison) 207
This Old Guitar 223
14 The Long and Winding Country Road: James Taylor and Paul McCartney 225
Finale: The Best Is Yet to Come 239
My Favorite Things 245
What People are Saying About This
"John Pizzarelli has the gift of gab in more ways than one. A great storyteller, he can spin the tiniest anecdote about the musician's life into a sidesplitting absurdist yarn."
—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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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".