Charlie Apicella & Iron City

New York City based jazz guitarist Charlie Apicella celebrates the music of one of his musical godfa-thers, B.B. King, with treatments of three of his earliest hits and a spiritual. The set is filled out by two of Apicella's hard bop-inspired originals and a pair of Grant Green gems.


"As a player, Apicella immediately brings to mind Grant Green. He’s funky, he’s bluesy, and he’s not afraid to get dirty at times. Apicella and band have that perfect jazz rapport that allows them to be tight as hell and play off each other beautifully."
JOHN HEIDT, Vintage Guitar Magazine

"Apicella's playing shines...[he] is aware of the straight-ahead tradition, showcasing his Wes Mont-gomery influence...Apicella's guitar sound is bright and clean, and easily cuts through the huge sound of the organ."
TIM FISCHER, Just Jazz Guitar Magazine


I met BB King in December of 1999. I was only a couple of years into my study of the guitar and there was no one in the world more important to me in music than him. Four years earlier I had attended my first concert, BB King appearing at the Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA with my father and my uncle Guy. They surprised me with front row tickets. BB King was also my dad?s first concert experience back in 1972 in at the Community Theater in Kingston, NY.

When I had the chance to talk with BB he could not have been more kind and encouraging me. Folks were lined up outside the door and when the time was right BB?s manager would invite four or five people at a time in to speak with him. He graciously spoke with everyone individually, shared a little story, and offered his autograph—all of this after performing for nearly two hours.

I had removed the pick guard from my guitar, a Guild with the same body style as BB?s Gibson ES 335. His guitar is known the world over as Lucille and I had named mine Delia in imitation. BB signed it for me and then encouraged me to stay focused on two of his favorites, Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery.

After his passing this past Spring I was flooded with emotion and reminiscing and had the desire to remember him the best way I knew how so I started transcribing and arranging some of his tunes. As we started adding a tune here or there to our sets the response was definitive— people are drawn to the blues and everyone LOVES BB King.

-Charlie Apicella, New York City, Feb. 2016