Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist

GUEST,navigator 26 Dec 03 - 03:48 PM
Ed. 26 Dec 03 - 04:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Dec 03 - 05:25 PM
PoppaGator 26 Dec 03 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Frank 26 Dec 03 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibsonj 26 Dec 03 - 06:27 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 03 - 02:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Dec 03 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Frank 27 Dec 03 - 04:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Dec 03 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Frank 27 Dec 03 - 04:53 PM
Benjamin 27 Dec 03 - 05:12 PM
greg stephens 27 Dec 03 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,harpgirl 27 Dec 03 - 06:21 PM
Candyman(inactive) 27 Dec 03 - 06:30 PM
Murray MacLeod 27 Dec 03 - 09:25 PM
Mudlark 27 Dec 03 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 28 Dec 03 - 12:27 AM
Roger the Skiffler 28 Dec 03 - 11:18 AM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 03 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Frank 28 Dec 03 - 12:11 PM
Candyman(inactive) 28 Dec 03 - 01:31 PM
Candyman(inactive) 28 Dec 03 - 01:35 PM
PoppaGator 29 Dec 03 - 10:06 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Dec 03 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Frank 29 Dec 03 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Frank 29 Dec 03 - 05:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Dec 03 - 12:58 PM
fat B****rd 30 Dec 03 - 03:21 PM
van lingle 31 Dec 03 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,navigator 31 Dec 03 - 08:17 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Dec 03 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Frank 31 Dec 03 - 02:36 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Dec 03 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 31 Dec 03 - 03:22 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Dec 03 - 04:15 PM
pdq 31 Dec 03 - 05:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Dec 03 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,Ricardo da Mata 14 Apr 14 - 10:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Apr 14 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,DTM 15 Apr 14 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 15 Apr 14 - 12:36 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 15 Apr 14 - 03:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Apr 14 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 15 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM
pdq 15 Apr 14 - 05:29 PM
Jack Campin 15 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM
pdq 15 Apr 14 - 08:26 PM
PHJim 16 Apr 14 - 12:07 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Apr 14 - 11:18 AM
Stringsinger 16 Apr 14 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,gillymor 16 Apr 14 - 12:02 PM
pdq 16 Apr 14 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,gillymor 16 Apr 14 - 12:33 PM
PHJim 16 Apr 14 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 16 Apr 14 - 03:37 PM
pdq 16 Apr 14 - 05:37 PM
Stringsinger 17 Apr 14 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 17 Apr 14 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach 17 Apr 14 - 08:24 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,navigator
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 03:48 PM

I believe Joe pass was the greatest guitar virtuoso who ever lived.
Do yo agree?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Ed.
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 04:01 PM

No


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 05:25 PM

On what basis? I'd probably put him 11th..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 05:31 PM

OK, Jerry, who are your top ten?

Some of my faves, in no particular order, off the top of my head:

Snooks Eaglin
Django Rhinehardt (sp?)
Jerry Garcia
Buddy Guy
John Fahey
Jimi Hendrix
Robbie Robertson
Charley Christian
Ry Cooder
Stevie Ray Vaughn

that's 10...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 06:24 PM

One of the top jazz guitarists. The only one Oscar Petersen would play with.

There is Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel,Wes Montgomery, Django, Eddie Lang,, Bola Sete (though he played Brazilian), Oscar Aleman, Lenny Breaux, Mundell Lowe, Grant Green, Barry Galbraith, Howard Aldin,
Larry Coryell, and more.

and studio types such as George Barnes, Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, Les Paul,Chet Atkins, Merle Travis,Carl Kress and Dick McDonough,

and contemporary stylists such as Pat Metheny and Alan (?) from England who plays Carvel guitars,

And in a special category, Ted Greene,

and Gypsy jazz, Rosenberg, and others today......

But the aforementioned jazz guitarists including Pass were the influential jazz players on this instrument.

He is one of the greatest because he could swing, had unusual harmonic sense, was a clean, fast player and could keep up with Oscar Petersen, (not a small feat). His reharmonization of jazz
tunes is well-respected.

There are undoubtably many guitarists today who are not so well known
but equally spectacular.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Martin Gibsonj
Date: 26 Dec 03 - 06:27 PM

I don't know how anyone could listen to that stuff.

Isn't there a jazz forum somewhere?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 02:26 PM

Navigator

Thanks Frank, you said it better than I. My perspective is different
than most "Mudcatters" since I'm 80 years old.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 02:32 PM

Propper Gator:

In no particular order, here are some that come to mind... not all jazz. just favorites:

For Jazz:

Charlie Christian has to be number one
Tal Farlow always amazed me
Kenny Burrel... tasty if not unusually inovative
George Van Epps... can never get enough of his 7 string guitar
Jimmy Smith
Laurindo Almeida
Ron Eschete... a wonderful counterpoint to Gene Harris's funky, bluesy piano

Other guitarists I really enjoy:

Mark Knopfler
Jimmie Hendrix... don't listen to him a lot but I recognize his genius
Les Paul has to be on any list of a top ten... especially for being innovative and influential
Dave Edmunds
Junior Brown, for country... a truly amazing guitarist

For blues:

Lightnin' Hopkins
John Lee Hooker
Stevie Ray Vaughn
And of course, Leadbelly

For folk:

Doc Watson
and Doc Watson

Plus most of the ones listed above..

I personally didn't hear much that moved me in Joe Pass, although he's certainly a fine and influential guitarist.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 04:12 PM

I forgot Herb Ellis, Pat Martino, Pat Donahue,Oscar Moore, Emily Remler, GAbor Szabo, Alan Holdsworth was who I was thinking of, Teddy Bunn, Al Casey (who played with Fats Waller), and as Jerry mentions,
Van Epps and

Laureindo who I would consider less a jazz guitarist and more of a classic bossa player and classic guitarist.
Oscar Castro Neves who played with Brazil 66 might be overlooked in this department as well.

Joe Pass is the ultimate jazz guitarist and unless you like jazz a lot, what he does could be missed. His sense of harmony is impeccable.

Charlie Christian was not the first to use amplification but one of most innovative with the Benny Goodman sextet.

George Benson and Phil Upchurch
are swinging players.

Joe Pass might be considered to be at the apex of inventive improvisations and harmonic lines.

There is no number one since all of them have something unique to contribute and that is why they are well-known in the guitar world.

Guest, being 80 means you have perspective and have probably
heard more than most others on this thread.

As to the other styles of guitar playing, Doc is well-known but there are others who are less-known who are playing well today in this style.

The question arises as to what this has to do with a folk thread.
Most of what is called folk music today owes a lot to the sophisticated development of jazz. Jazz in a sense is a kind of
folk music that has a tradition-based history and is often handed down from player to player not unlike how folk players learn.

Jazz improvisation has a strong connection to folk music and has influenced folk performers indirectly. Many of the best pickers such as Doc Watson are improvisers having acquired a vocabulary of phrases and patterns over the years that adapt to different tunes much like a jazz musician.

Listening to folk or jazz players is subjective in that some are preferred over others for various reasons. But the important thing is to keep an open mind, listen for intent and when you learn to
play some jazz guitar, believe me, your appreciation for the skill of the jazz guitarist increases proportionately.

Frank Hamilton (who loves all kinds of guitar playing)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 04:30 PM

Farnk: I was being corrupted by pervious posters who included guitarist from other styles of music..:-) Actually, the thread title does not limit itself to jazz guitarists... I suppose someone could have included Andres Segovia.

Or Duane Eddy. :-)


"Greatest" is very much a subjective term. I don't respond to single string melodies on guitar (generally speaking) as much as I do to guitarists who use chords generously. (Tal Farlow being an obvious exception for me.) Someone like George Van Epps, whose beautiful use of chords and fingerpicking has always touched me comes from a really old jazz tradition, going back to his father Fred Van Epps, who was considered the greatest of all plectrum bano players. Howard Alden has taken over George's reigns, carrying on the finger-picked style on a seven string guitar... first recording with Van Epps, and now on his own.
This thread made me hungry, so I just put on an album of guitar duets with Alden and Van Epps... mighty tasty stuff..

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 04:53 PM

Jerry, I agree wholeheartedly with your choices.


Navigator, I think it's unfair to place
Joe Pass at the top of any list without putting his playing into a context of style. Obviously he's not the greatest bluegrass or classical guitar player in the world. He's not a folk guitarist either.

Why is any guitarist considered to be at the top of his/her field?
Because they have something unique to contribute in their musical style.

Someone might or might not like that style.

Sometimes it takes time to appreciate a great player. Something you hear now might be different for you in the passage of time.

I have to say that I admire many players whose style I don't particularly like such as (for me) Jimmy Page or even Hendrix.
They are nonetheless tops in their field whether I like 'em or not.
Because they are damn fine guitar players. Classical guitar bores me too but Segovia, Bream, Alirio Diaz are some of the finest guitarists in the world.

There is much to be learned from the music that I don't initially care for. Sometimes when I listen long enough, my views change and I can accept what they are saying with more generosity.

Meanwhile, I know as a player that these guitarists are exceptional.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Benjamin
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 05:12 PM

Joe Pass is certainly one of my favorte players. While I agree with the problems of trying to rate players, especially without any real context, Joe Pass had incredible technical comand. His improvisations and his phrasing to me are absolutely ingenious. A guitarist could learn something from his playing, no matter what style they choose to play.
As for modern virtuosos, I'd recomend Roland Dyens. He's one of the top improvisers out there today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 06:19 PM

WEll not the greatest, in my opinion, which is hardly surprsing ,a s I am a folk freak which is why I contribute to Mudcat a lot. And actually I am a jazz freak, but there are two or three jazz cuitaists I rate way above Joe Pass. But I do love the man amazingly dearly, and regularly bung a CD on in that morning period of the day when I am having a coffee(and until 2 months ago a cigarette, and God I miss it) and getting into gear for serious activity. And also in that same coffe(plus whisky and no-more-cigarettes) period after dinner. yes a lovely player.Though not emotional enough for my all time top 10. And even in non-emotional terms, I have to say I think Jim Hall has the edge in that sort of area.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 06:21 PM

Navigator and Guest are my 80 year old father! He loves Joe Pass and has gotten me interested this weekend! Thanks for your comments, Frank. He would be interested to know your background but probably wouldn't recognize your credentials( or Jerry's; Poppa Gator I don't know) readily as he is a jazz addict.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 06:30 PM

One of the top jazz guitarists. The only one Oscar Petersen would play with.

I certainly agree that Joe Pass was a great guitarist, but Oscar Peterson played with any number of guitarists over the years. Herb Ellis played guitar was in the Oscar Peterson Trio for many years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 09:25 PM

Joe Pass was undoubtedly a virtuoso jazz guitarist, but as a solo performer he had no stage presence whatsoever, although maybe by the time I got to see him his drug problem had finally gotten to him.

Although his technique was amazing, I ultimately found the evening slightly boring.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Mudlark
Date: 27 Dec 03 - 11:36 PM

Altho I've heard some stupendous Joe Pass playing, my overall take is much like Murray's. Sort of like listening to Art Tatum for too long...too many notes, not enuf heart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 12:27 AM

I still don't really like jazz.

Some old big band swing is OK, but most jazz is quite disorientating.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 11:18 AM

Joe certainly was as unflamboyant a performer as you could wish to see but he was cerainly one of my favourite jazz guitarists, of the ones I have been fortunate to see live, as soloist, with Oscra P or backing Ella.

RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 12:09 PM

I don't claim any credentials, and in fact I am a very mediocre and non-professional guitar player. I'm pretty good at a certain style of country blues fingerpicking, strictly acoustic, but I am by no means any kind of guitar guru or scholar.

Plus which, the ten names I threw out earlier in the thread were truly "off the top of my head," just to stimulate discussion. After Jerry R. had posted "I'd probably put him 11th," I figured Jerry might have a thoroughly-thought-out Top Ten, and I was just trying to prod him into revealing said 10 by listing a random 10 of my own with which he could disagree.

That said, I do want to call your attention to a few of the best guitar players in New Orleans today, musicians of whom you might not be aware.

SNOOKS EAGLIN was at the top of my original list for a reason. I have no idea how old he is, but he has been playing professionally since the 1950s. Snooks is blind and black and is sometimes classified as a blues player, but if you think that brief summary tells you anything about how he sounds, you'd be wrong. He's a great performer with a wicked sense of humor, and has the most amazing picking technique ever (bare fingers, electric guitar). Plenty of recent CDs to choose from.

DEACON JOHN isn't quite as old as Snooks, but he also served an apprenticeship at Cosimo's studio in the late 50s. Deac is really more important as a bandleader and vocalist than as an instrumentalist, but I'm mentioning him because he recently put together a terrific program recorded as a live concert for DVD and live HDTV and also as a regular audio CD, called "Deacon John's Jump Blues." I believe it was produced to be shown (among other places) during PBS-TV fund drives. If you have a chance to see it in your US city, I recommend it highly. (I was in the audience, by the way.)

STEVE MASAKOWSKI is hands-down the reigning king of contemporary jazz guitar in the Crescent City, as a member of Astral Project. Those few of you with an interest in post-bop jazz grounded in a funky second-line rhythm, don't miss out on Astral Project.

PHIL DuGRUY is one of the world's great eccentrics, playing his custom-made one-of-a-kind guitarp. His compositions are as witty as they are complex, since he loves to drop in "quotes" from familiar tunes. Phil is strictly a soloist; I don't believe he ever has (or ever *could* have) joined a band or a group, or recorded with anyone else. Even if you don't have the time or inclination to give him a listen, take a moment to check out pix of his ax at http://www.guitarp.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 12:11 PM

Candyman, didn't know about Herb Ellis. Thanks for the info.

Harpgirl, I think it's important to appreciate all kinds of music
whether we like it or not. Show business is not a prerequisite for musicianship in my view. Joe Pass is a fine and important jazz guitarist and putting him on a rate scale is subjective at best.

Those that would be bored by his playing might not appreciate jazz that much. He was outstanding as an imaginative player in both single lines and harmony.

The only folk or bluegrass guitarist that could approach his level in jazz might be Pat Donahue. Donahue didn't choose to go that way but I believe he could have. He is one of the few folk stylists that I can think of that has a grasp of harmonic complexity that jazz requires.

In the country field, George Barnes and Hank Garland are two strong in both styles. Also Homer (of Homer and Jethro) could play jazz well. Lenny Breau was one of the best fingerpickers around.
Check out "The Claw".

Frank

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 01:31 PM

The only folk or bluegrass guitarist that could approach his level in jazz might be Pat Donahue. Donahue didn't choose to go that way but I believe he could have. He is one of the few folk stylists that I can think of that has a grasp of harmonic complexity that jazz requires.

Frank,

What you say about Pat Donahue, whose work I'm not very familiar with, I would say about Tony Rice. And certainly, for pre-bebop jazz styles, I would also include Guy Van Duser.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 28 Dec 03 - 01:35 PM

P.S. While I've never been overly fond of Joe Pass as a solo performer. However, his vocal/guitar duets with Ella Fitzgerald are phenomenal, as was his band work with people like Oscar Peterson.

Joe Pass also did an instrumental album of duets with Roy Clark of Hank WIlliams songs that is really good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 10:06 AM

When I mentioned jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski in my post last night, I omitted something *very* pertinent to this discussion -- Steve is a disciple of Joe Pass, and released a critically acclaimed album "For Joe," honoring his mentor, back in 2000.

For more info, click here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 10:25 AM

Out of curiosity, I asked a friend of mine at Church, who is a fine jazz guitarist in his own right, who he would put number one as a jazz guitarist. He put Tal Farlow #1, as I do. I asked him wabout Joe Pass, and he agreed that he is a good player, but wouldn't include him in his top ten, either.

But, because of this thread, I want to listen to more Pass before I do. Any recommendations for an avaiable CD?

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 12:15 PM

Jerry, Joe made an album with just his guitar which is an archtop played accoustically. It may be hard to find it.

Candyman, I love Guy Van Duser but he is not a jazz man in the sense that he improvises much. Most of his arrangements are worked out in advance. Tony Rice is not a jazz player in the sense that the public has come to recognize as jazz but a phenomenal bluegrass player. He is not in Pass's league in my view.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 05:06 PM

I need to qualify the last sentence. He is not in Pass's league as a jazz player in my view. He is certainly a phenomenal and influential bluegrass picker.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 12:58 PM

Thanks, Frank: I checked amazon.com and they have 91 listings for Joe Pass... The first one is an album originally released in the 70's of just him and his guitar... probably the one you referred to. I listened to three cuts from the album and see he's not to my taste. Funny thing is, all three songs are well known, and yet unless I listened carefully, I didn't even recognize the tune. I Like To Recognize The Tune, as the song says. Pass is brilliant, technically but to my ears he subscribes to the school that more is less. I've never been impressed that much with technical virtuosity. I want feeling, not technique, and in the short samples I heard I hear technique.

Now someone else may hear something that moves them, beyond technique and rapid fire runs of notes. I just hear more notes than necessary for my old ears..

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 03:21 PM

Did anybody mention Wes Montgomery ??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: van lingle
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 05:09 AM

That album from the 70's you guys are talking about I believe was called "Virtuoso". I used to have it on vinyl and I think Pass made a 2 and 3 as well.
Duck Baker, like Donahue, is another fingerstylist coming out of the folk, blues, ragtime etc. area who can really swing and improvise on early to late jazz tunes as well originals.
Also worth note is Martin Taylor who used to play with Stephan Grappelli and is a very fine jazz fingerstylist. vl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,navigator
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 08:17 AM

Jerry, the main reason I am so fond of Joe Pass is what you apparently
don't hear, that is the song itself. On most of my 10 or so
cds from Pass, to me the tunes, or songs, are very recognizable,
which I don't always hear in other guitarists. I particularly like
the album " Unforgetable "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 11:04 AM

Navigator:

Looking at your original posting, I realize that I haven't really responded to it. Others on here haven't, either. You asked who was the greatest guitar "virtuoso." I'd probably have to revise my list dramatically to try to answer that question. I can see why some people would consider Django Reinhart as number 1, and Charlie Christian probably wouldn't even make the top ten. Generally speaking, virtuosity is not the determining factor in whether I enjoy listening to any kind of music. I'm not into the notes per second mode. The fact that something is difficult to do doesn't mean that I get anything out of listening to it.

This thread is like all the other "Best" or "Top Ten" threads. They have very little to do with "Best." It's really what do you as an individual LIKE best. I can recognize that someone is a brilliant musician and not like their music. Django is a good example, and generally speaking, a rapid fire run of notes, no matter how hard it is to do, or how much musicianship is in it loses me. But even then, there are exceptions. My favorite jazz guitarist is Tal Farlow, but sometimes my eyes glaze over if he goes into a long, extended series of runs. Is he the "Best" jazz virtuoso? Maybe. He was voted the "best" jazz guitarist for several years in the 50's, before he took a long sabatical on recording.

No one has mentioned Sal Salvadore, and rightfully so. Sal was with Stan Kenton's band and released a wonderful Stan Kenton Presents Sal Salvadore album which has finally been re-issued on CD. Sal is not a virtuoso, but he can put a lot of feeling into simple, lyrical single not lines. Several years ago, I discovered that Sal was living in the same town I was. As a matter of fact, he loved to come to the Museum where I worked, and only lived a few blocks away from me. I wrote him a letter, and ended up going over to visit a few times. He is a modest man, living in a small wood-frame house in a modest neighborhood. Sal's best friend was Tal Farlow and when I mentioned to Sal that some of Tal's improvisations still sound the same as they did 20 years ago. Sal's response to that was a very memorable statement: "A musician's style is the summation of their limitations."

So, if I listed the guitarists (virtuosos and otherwise) who I listen to and enjoy the most, Tal Farlow would be on their, and also "lesser" guitarists like Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Ron Eschete, George Van Epps and Charlie Christian. I probably listen to Kenny Burrell the most, even though I don't think that he's nearly as "good" as Tal Farlow. After all, music isn't technique or virtuosity. It is two people connecting through melodies and words.
Your connections are different than mine, as they should be.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 02:36 PM

Jerry, I agree with you. Sal Salvadore for sure. Kenny Burrell. Billy Bauer, (less known with Lennie Tristano). There are so many incredible players on electric guitar. Of course Martin Taylor and Diz Disley. And for sure Frank Vignola as well as Howard Aldin.

Yes, virtuoso was the question. Who was the Paganinni of guitar?
Probably Segovia with Diaz and Bream close by. Paganinni, himself as well since he put down his fiddle for a while to become a great classical guitarist.

Rick Ruskin along with Duck Baker. Chet and Merle and Guy Van Duser and Pat Donahue.

Doc, Clarence White, Tony Rice, David Bromberg,.....

In rock, Van Halen, Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Clapton.............

A question like this has to be qualified but since we've mentioned so many, I think we've covered it pretty well.

There are probably a great many who never get out of their small towns or venues that we don't know about.

Now the question is what of these virtuosos could be classified as
great musicians and by whose standards?

I believe there is a genetic disposition for "chops". There are those who have incredible fingers that are made for virtuosity. It's not just a function of practice. Some of these might or might not make enjoyable listening but the same skills that a surgeon or maybe a watch-maker might be useful in guitar. Some of it is biology and genetics.

In the case of Paganinni, he had outsized hands that were attributable to a medical condition (sometimes described as a disease) similar to elephantitus. As a result he was able to
invent incredibly difficult virtuoso pieces and play them easilly while other violinists still struggle to get them right.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 03:20 PM

Frank:

If you ever met Tal Farlow, you'd be amazed at how large his hands were. I had idolized him since I was a teenager, and finally got to hear him "live" and the Blue Note in New York City about ten years ago. He was on a double bill with George Shearing... two genuine old-timers. I got there early and sat at a front table with me knees six feet away from where Tal was sitting and had a chance to talk with him briefly when he came out to se up his amplifier and check his guitar. It was a real honor to hear him, even though his fingers had stiffened up and he couldn't do those fantastic, CLEAN, breaks that he was famous for in his prime. When he'd take a long run, he'd let the bass or drummer take a solo while he shook his right hand to loosen it up for the next solo. George Shearing, interestingly, had become far more adventurous and free in his approach to the piano. I find his 1950's recordings too locked into a "sound" to really enjoy them any more, but I bought a recent cassette, and they were actually recording the evening for a future release.

It's good to see someone becoming freer and more "youthful" as they get older..

Maybe there's hope for us, Frank..

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 03:22 PM

Jerry and Frank, you both were able to put in words some of my
thoughts that I was not able to clearly present. Of course the reason
I rate Joe Pass tops is that he plays the kind of music I love. Probably my second choice is Kenny Burrell. They and may others are
equally fine tecnicians, but to each of us, the one we rate the highest is the one who plays our kind of music. Other names on my list
of favorite musicians would probably not even be on the list of most Mudcatters, but again, I'm 80. My list includes Ella Fitzgerald, Frank
D'Rone, Sinatra, Mel Torme, June Christy, and so on. You get the Idea.
Fun changing thoughts with you guys!!
Navigator.
P.S. We call it jazz!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 04:15 PM

Hey, Navigator:

I'm a mere tad at 68. I just ordered a CD I didn't even know existed by Matt Dennis... very excited to find it. June Christy is a great love of mine, and I imagine that our tastes overlap a great deal. My primary listening in recent months has had heavy airplay for Gene Harris: a jazz pianist. His guitar player is Ron Eschete, who I've mentioned in this thread, so I'm not drifting too far from the shore.

Makes me wonder if there is a Jazz Mudcat equivalent.. Have to check it out.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: pdq
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 05:40 PM

As long as people are on the subject of Jazz,
I bought a CD by Ray Brown a few weeks ago. He is probably the
most respected bass player of all time. The record is called "Some
of My Best Friends are...Guitarists". Herb Ellis, Bruce Forman, Russell
Malone, John (son of Bucky) Pizzarelli and Kenny Burrell each jam
with the great bass man on two numbers. All are great and all are
still healthy and working. The CD is 2002 from Telarc. Of all the players,
Kenny Burrell stands out as the one who demands that you listen to him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Dec 03 - 09:19 PM

Let this thread be a good example of how much a guest can bring to Mudcat. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that, when there are so many
guests posting nasty comments.

Thanks, Navigator, for starting this thread.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Ricardo da Mata
Date: 14 Apr 14 - 10:33 PM

Of course, he is the greatest!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:10 AM

he was a good accompanist also - self effacing, but elegant and precise in his phrasing - see the video of Ella and Joe at Ronnie Scotts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 07:17 AM

I'll Pass ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 12:36 PM

A previous poster mentioned that Joe had drug problem. Well, he did in his 20s, but I'm pretty sure he put that behind him well before he became famous in the 1970s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 03:27 PM

I never was able to really get into Joe Pass---but that could change as I read people's comments about him, then listen to his music again.

Tal Farlow to me was the most amazing......the 'touch' he had on that instrument was phenomenal.

Also really like Lenny Breau, Tony Rice, Gabor Szabo, Ted Irwin, Django Reinhardt, Laurindo Almeida, and---in terms of rock----I can't really think of anybody. Maybe that guy from The Smashing Pumkins?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 03:56 PM

we've got a guy in England called Terry Smith - you would like him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM

Well, Britain's Martin Taylor is the closest you can get to Joe.
like Joe, he plays beautiful improved totally solo guitar, but, again like Joe, he can play amazing speedy solo lines in a group setting.
Anothe great player from this side of then pond is Irish player Louis Stewart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 05:29 PM

Interesting that he initial poster does not name a style of playing for Joe Pass, but in the 5th post Frank Hamilton declares him to be Jazz, then it is off to the races as a Jazz thread.

Not all Jazz is improvised and not all improvised music is Jazz. Also, I don't see what extremely complex electric guitar work by trained musicians has to do with the brass-based dance music of New Orleans in, say, 1922.

Jerry Garcia and Tony Rice are/were fine improvisational players and rate in my TOP 10 guitarists of all-time. If others want to stick them in a category (other than "great"), that's up to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM

I wonder how many of the people making these recommendations are not guitarists. As a non-guitarist totally unimpressed by whatever technicalities these guys got up to, the vast majority of them leave me absolutely cold, and Pass in particular. I wouldn't have crossed the street to hear him free.

People mentioned here that I do like: Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt, maybe Duck Baker in ragtime. That's about it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 08:26 PM

I believe it was Memphis Slim who once said, when asked what is the secret to living to old age, said "never chase another man's woman and never criticise another man's music".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 12:07 AM

The first guitarist in the Oscar Peterson Trio tgat I heard was Barney Kessel. When Barney left, he was replaced by Herb Ellis, who is probably the best known of Oscar's guitar players. For many years Oscar, Herb and Ray Brown comprised the trio and made many records together. When Herb left, he was replaced by drummer Ed Thigpen. Oscar also played with other guitarists, fellow Canadian Lorne Lofsky for one.
Near the end of his life, Oscar reunited with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown and I was fortunate enough to see them shortly before the end of his life. Oscar, Herb and Ray, my favourite incarnation of the Oscar Peterson Trio, have all left us now.

On my first two recordings of Joe Pass, Sounds Of Synanon and a Gerald Wilson Big Band album, Joe played a Fender solid body guitar, but still sounded like Joe Pass. In those days he was playing mostly single line solos and fewer chord melody breaks. He later switched to an ES175 and later hand made arch tops. Joe was a great guitarist, one of my favourites, but I would never call him, nor anyone else, the greatest guitarist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 11:18 AM

always cross the street to see a guitarist - even if it isn't Joe Pass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 11:26 AM

There is no one greatest guitarist. Is there one greatest folk singer or player?

Everyone has something unique to contribute and although you can suggest your preferences, to state that one is superior to another without accompanying criteria
is silly.

Anyone who plays guitar exceptionally well regardless of style or field, as most real musicians will tell you "is the greatest!"

Here's a funny criteria for you. For accompanying simple but pretty folk songs, you can't beat Burl Ives. His um plunk supported every song that he ever did and could elicit encores a-plenty for his playing and tasteful guitar backup.

Barney Kessel's accompaniment for Julie London's recordings is masterful, notably
"Cry Me A River".

Eric Weissberg's accompaniment for Judy Collins' "Suzanne" is also unique.

Peggy Seeger did a lovely guitar accompaniment for "I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again" on Folksongs of Courting and Complaint.

I think that Bruce Langhorne's accompaniments for Odetta on Tradition Records were excellent.

Hey, it's all apples and oranges here. Greatest? Depends on what we're talking about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 12:02 PM

Joe Pass doing All the Things You Are on Youtube. Click here

I tend to like fingerstyle players like Pass, the earlier Lenny Breau stuff, Ted Greene etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: pdq
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 12:27 PM

"I tend to like fingerstyle players like Pass..."


Just for fun, go back to YouTube and check out his work on a tune he called C.E.D., the initials of the founder of Synanon.

He is doing "up'n'down" flatpicking on a Fender solid body guitar. Seems to have two pickups. I don't think it's a Telecaster.

Single-string work in a "machine gun" style with some BeBop flavor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 12:33 PM

I've seen that ,PDQ, and always wondered how the heck he got that tone out of a Fender solid body.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 12:45 PM

Joe played either a Fender Jazzmaster or Jaguar when he made the Sounds Of Synanon and Gerald Wilson Big Band albums. Joe didn't own his own guitar at the time, so he used one belonging to the Synanon rehab facility.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 03:37 PM

He's Joe on the Fender Jaguar.
Poor sound quality.

Early Joe


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: pdq
Date: 16 Apr 14 - 05:37 PM

Hope this works.

Here is a picture of a 1965 vintage Fender Jaguar...


                                                   
http://cdn1.gbase.com/usercontent/gear/3144265/p1_uefvfo1h4_so.jpg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Apr 14 - 12:44 PM

Tal Farlow was a guitar phenomenon, a devotee of the hard bop style inculcated by Bird.
He was a sign painter as well as guitarist. He learned to read music very quickly for studio work.

Joe Pass was a different kind of player, mainly mainstream jazz from the swing era.
His chord sophistication was legendary.

They are both incomparable to each other and also as jazz guitarists.

Chuck Dietrich was probably responsible for getting Joe off of the pit bands in the burlesque houses on Main Street in Los Angeles by saying something to the effect, "Get out here to Synanon by yourself. Nobody is going to come to get you."

Joe took responsibility for his life, kicked the habit and showed the world what he could do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 17 Apr 14 - 01:25 PM

Of course, Charlie Christian was the daddy of all swing/bop guitarists.
I think the recording below is terrific. It swings, it drives, it takes you by surprise. How I would have loved to have been in New York in the 1940s.

Charlie Swings!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: joe pass, why is he the greatest guitarist
From: GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 17 Apr 14 - 08:24 PM

I am also an admirer of Joe Pass but would not say he is the greatest guitarist. It is a question of taste. I also like Johnny Smith and Charlie Byrd as well Jimmy Bruno and Frank VIgnola all great players. A Mr C Atkins late of this parish could also lay claim to the title as well as his appointed on earth Mr T Emmanuel.

The greatest fingerstyle guitarist of any genre combining musicianship taste and technique has just left us Mr Paco Di Lucia


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 September 4:32 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.