Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pat Rizzo A/K/A "The Riz" Holds Musical Court on Saturday Nights At Vickys

Pat Rizzo

Pat and Yarek Urant

Jim DiGulio

Dennis Burke

 Everytime I go to see Pat Rizzo I think about what makes him such a great performer?  Let's start with the fact that Pat is considered by the best musicians as one of the finest Sax players performing today.  Even the "Voice" Frances Albert Sinatra loved the way Pat blew his horn and made Pat his mandatory Sax player whenever he was performing in California or Vegas.  However, Pat Rizzo is so much more than a fantastic Sax player.  Pat is the total entertainer and seems to have a magical relationship with his audiences who love him.  Pat has what every musician wants, stage presence that makes him a star.  When Pat hits the stage, he tells stories about the musicians he played with,  tells funny jokes and still maintains an ability to respond to his audience with sharp wit.  When I first met Pat many years ago,  he was playing Sax and Flute more than he was singing.  For me, I thought he should be singing more because he has a very special voice.  But more than Pat's voice, its Pat's understanding of lyric and phrasing that sells his vocals.  I have had more than a few conversations with Pat about his phrasing and he told me that all during the many years he played with Sinatra, he was usually seated directly in back of Frank and he became a student of Sinatra's breath control and phrasing.  Now when Pat sings, his breath control and phrasing would please any Sinatra fan.  Do you self a favor and go over to Vickys on Saturday night to listen to Pat and his group.  I guarantee a good time and some of the best sounds you have ever heard from his band.  Pat also performs with Dennis Michaels at Nicolino's Italian Restaurant on Wednesdays from 6pm to 9pm.  

Joining Pat's group is another Sinatra favorite player, Jim DiGuilo.   Jim along with Pat always got the call anytime Sinatra was performing in the West including Vegas.  Jim is universally recognized as one of the best technically competent bass players performing in the US today.  When Pat sings a Sinatra tune, you will heard Jim play the bass line exactly as Sinatra like it!  Pat's piano player is Yarek Urant who I know is considerated one of the best Desert.  As a result, Yarek is constantly sought out by other groups looking for a Piano or Keyboard player but on Saturday night, Pat has Yarek locked up!  Drumming today was Dennis Burke a relatively new musical player from Canada.  Dennis is the newest member of this group and fits in perfectly.  Maintaining the proper rhythm support but never overshadowing his fellow players.

I am not overstating when I say that this quartet is one of the best Jazz group performing today.


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