Michele Ramo and Bucky Pizzare
By any standards Pizzarelli and Ramo are virtuosos who can dazzle with their technical abilities, but they share an old-fashioned sense of style and taste that transcends technique. Both are romantics, albeit of a very different kind. Pizzarelli is somewhat more restrained; relying on a vast repertoire acquired over a long career, he loves to set moods and to patiently develop harmonically complex musical lines. Ramo often plays as if he really wanted to sing bel canto in Italian, and he is equally at home on the violin and mandolin.
Listening to Ramo's finger-style guitar playing brings to mind much of the history of its role in jazz, from Lonnie Johnson to Charlie Christian to Django to Kenny Burrell, as well as his early love, the great Brazilian master Baden Powell. Pizzarelli and Ramo bring their unique guitars, Ramo's violin and mandolin, and a few musical friends to the Kerrytown Concert House on April 21.
[Originally published in April, 2013.]