Reeling in the years

By JIM MACNIE  |  February 25, 2010

WANT TO TAKE A CRACK AT DESCRIBING WHAT MAKES TONY SUCH A GREAT COMMUNICATOR? He gets to the heart of the lyric. Listen to his discs with Bill Evans — wow. I remember hearing his "return" record, The Art of Excellence, and thinking that he had such an understanding of where the periods and commas and exclamation points are. All that feeds emotion. If you could capture 40 percent of it and put it in your work, it would be amazing.

WHAT DID WE LOSE WHEN WE LOST LES PAUL? Well, we didn't lose the music, that's the beauty. And we gained so much by having him with us for over 90 years. He was one crazy SOB — a fun, fun guy to be around. I don't think he ever lost a step. He could tell you stories. "Hey here's how I made 'How High the Moon.' Hey, here's how I built the pickup on my guitar." And I love the fact that his own guitar sounded nothing like the mass-produced Les Pauls. You'd hear him and say, "Hmmm, my Les Paul doesn't sound that way." Smart guy.

TELL ME THAT YOU'RE COMPED FOREVER AT FOXWOODS. Ha! I can only hope. We have a little cabin an hour north of our New York apartment. We always say that it's the house that Foxwoods built. It's the only thing I own on the planet, and without Foxwoods I wouldn't have it, so I'm forever grateful to "The Wonder of It All." I run into people all over the country who ask me about it. We have a little spin on it in the show, so we'll have to play it for the Providence crowd.

JOHN PIZZARELLI & THE SWING SEVEN | Saturday, February 27 | Rhode Island Center for Performing Arts, 848 Park Ave, Cranston | $40 + $30 | 401.467.7275 |tickets.ricpa/net and in Boston | Sunday, February 28 |Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St, Boston | 4pm | $30 + $40 | 800.745.3000 See our Editor's Picks for more.

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