Bucky Pizzarelli Trio

When we talk about “guitar heroes,” the name Bucky Pizzarelli is seldom mentioned. He’s not a fiery soloist or flashy showman. Instead, Pizzarelli—whose style is deeply indebted to Django Reinhardt—made his reputation in jazz as a tasteful sideman during the early '50s, complementing bandleaders like Benny Goodman, Zoot Sims, and Stéphane Grappelli (Django's old partner) with pure finesse. Now in his mid 80s, with son John Pizzarelli the biggest celebrity in his family, Bucky offers a glimpse into the postwar era of small-combo jazz, when songs jumped joyfully and waltzed romantically. Performing tonight with bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer D’Vonne Lewis, he offers offer an important lesson: The greatest musicians are often the greatest listeners. Pizzarelli Sr. treats his sidemen with the utmost respect, never trying to outdo them. He's got a relaxed sense of rhythm, even when playing the swinging-est of tunes. BRIAN J. BARR

Tue., May 24, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., May 25, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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