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Hard Bop Jazz Guitar

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Wes Montgomery

The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery - Wes Montgomery
Check Out Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery One of the most celebrated guitarists in the history of jazz, Wes Montgomery has been a major influence on everyone from George Benson to Lee Ritenour. But he was hardly an overnight sensation. Though he toured with Lionel Hampton from 1948-50, he spent most of the 1950s working day jobs and paying dues on the Indianapolis club circuit. Montgomery, known for a distinctive style that involved extensive use of his thumb, was in his 30s when he starting to enjoy national attention while recording for Riverside and working with producer Orrin Keepnews. Essentially, his albums as a leader can be divided into two categories: his improvisatory hard-bop work for Pacific Jazz (1958-59) and Riverside (1959-63), and his much more commercial pop-jazz and instrumental pop output for Verve and A&M in the mid-to-late 1960s. Though he recorded some straight-ahead jazz for Verve, most of his overproduced Verve recordings predicted the crossover and so-called "smooth jazz" of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Montgomery had reached the height of his popularity when a heart attack claimed his life at 43.

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery is one of the guitarist's classic sessions. Featuring Tommy Flanagan on piano, it introduced such often-recorded originals as "Four on Six" and "West Coast Blues," plus some well-executed standards. This is the album that made Montgomery famous in the jazz realm, and it remains worthy of revisit.

Smokin' At The Half Note - Wes Montgomery, Wynton Kelly
Get the Legends of Jazz Guitar 1 videoLegends of Jazz Guitar - V. 1 (1995) - Wes Montgomery
This video features Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. The Wes portion comes from a BBC's Jazz 625 program recorded in 1965. Wes plays the the tunes Twisted Blues, Jingles and Yesterdays. A must see.
Wes Montgomery by Adrian Ingram
This book written by British Jazz Guitarist Adrian Ingram covers the life and times of Wes Montgomery, there are many photos, and interviews with friends and family and a comprehensive discography. Published in 1985 by the British Jazz Guitar specialist Ashley Mark Publications.

Grant Green

The Matador - Grant Green

Grant Green was impressed by horn players and adapted some of their ideas for his own playing. When the mid-1960s rolled around he had become one of the most influential guitarists in jazz. Rather than toss a barrage of notes at the listener during a solo, Green would sketch around the spaces, making them hear more by playing less. As the de facto house guitarist for Blue Note Records during that time, his bluesy, single-note runs combined with an uncanny sense of when not to play, made him an in-demand musician on sessions by Lou Donaldson, John Patton, Bobby Hutcherson, Dodo Greene, Sonny Clark, and just about everybody else on the Blue Note roster. The critics noticed and in 1962 Green won his category (New Star) in a Down Beat poll. He signed with Verve Records in 1966 and began incorporating soulful versions of the day's hits in his programs, which gave him a modicum of commercial success. He also started to have serious drug problems. When Green finally rejoined Blue Note he was to achieve even greater popularity with the record-buying public by building on the formula that had started to work for him at Verve. He was finally hospitalized in 1978 and died shortly thereafter. His legacy crosses stylistic boundaries. Today's acid-jazz fans are enamored of his later funk-oriented recordings, while the main body of jazz aficionados can lay claim to those first halcyon days at Blue Note. 1993, prod. Alfred Lion) is a good introduction to some of Green's best work under his own name. There are cuts from every major album recorded during his first tour of duty at Blue Note including some (like a version of "Speak Low" with Larry Young on organ, Hank Mobley on tenor, and Elvin Jones on drums) that are not currently available otherwise. The trio format is as good a way as any to tell if a soloist can sustain coherent musical ideas when there is little to fall back upon except a (hopefully) sympathetic rhythm section. How Green came to record within this configuration for Green Street [Rating: 5.0] (Blue Note, 1961, prod. Alfred Lion) is far less important than the fact that he did it. On every level, this is a masterful album. Bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey support and push the guitarist depending upon the needs of the song, and Green responds with some of his best playing. The material, including three of the guitarist's originals, is well chosen and the label has included alternate takes of "Green with Envy" and "Alone Together" that weren't on the original album. Idle Moments [Rating: 4.5] (Blue Note, 1964, prod. Alfred Lion) demonstrates how Green works well within the context of a larger group even if he is not the consistent focus of attention. Hearing vibist Bobby Hutcherson in the mix is an initial surprise but the interplay between Duke Pearson's piano, Green's guitar and Hutcherson is a continual delight. Joe Henderson's sax playing is pretty heady as well.
Grant Green : Rediscovering the Forgotten Genuis of Jazz Guitar - Sharony Andrews Green
Check Out The Bio on Grant Green

Joe Pass

Guitar Virtuoso [BOX SET] Joe Pass
Check Out Guitar Virtuoso - Joe Pass Joe Pass was both the apotheosis of the bop guitar tradition and an innovator who perfected a solo style that turned the guitar into a self-sufficient band. One of the latest blooming jazz giants, Pass began recording the albums that set standards for technical fluency well after he turned 40. Pass became a professional while still in high school, playing in swing bands, including a stint with Tony Pastor. He toured with Charlie Barnet in 1947, but after a tour of duty in the military, drug addiction derailed his career and he didn't return to the scene until the early 1960s. Settling in Los Angeles, Pass began making a name for himself with a series of recordings for Pacific Jazz, including his first classic album, 1963's For Django. He spent the next decade playing local gigs, performing with Gerald Wilson, Les McCann, and George Shearing, and touring with Benny Goodman in 1973. That was the year Norman Granz signed him to Pablo, and Pass became a guitar legend with the release of Virtuoso, a landmark solo recording that has lost none of its potency over time. During the next two decades, Pass recorded prolifically for Pablo, including sessions with Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, as well as numerous albums of his own, many of which have been reissued on CD. Pass remained active recording and performing right up until his death from cancer, including an extensive tour with "Guitar Summit," a band with Paco Pena, Pepe Romero, and Leo Kottke. 5.0] (Pablo, 1997, prod. Norman Granz, Eric Miller) is a four-disc set that covers the fret master's glory years from 1973 to 1992. The first disc contains 17 tracks of Pass's stunning solo guitar work, including four beautiful acoustic pieces from one of his last recordings, Songs for Ellen. Disc two covers collaborations with Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Rowles, and various small group sessions, while the third disc features live solo and small group performances. The final disc contains duets with Ella Fitzgerald, John Pisano, Niels Pedersen, and Zoot Sims, and three priceless tracks of Pass (in two rhythm sections) accompanying Sarah Vaughan. There are no treasures from the vault here, and most of the original recordings have been reissued on CD, but Guitar Virtuoso is a well-conceived, highly representative selection from Pass's inimitable oeuvre. Like The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, Virtuoso [Rating: 5.0] (Pablo, 1974/1987, prod. Norman Granz) forever changed what people thought was possible on a guitar. Using conventional technique, Pass supplies his own bass lines and plays rhythmic chords and a melody line simultaneously. He plays mostly standard songs, but there's nothing standard about this jaw-dropping solo album. A must for guitar lovers or fans of jazz guitar. A trio session with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Bobby Durham, Portraits of Duke Ellington [Rating: 5.0] (Pablo, 1974, prod. Norman Granz) is Pass's loving homage to the Duke, a gorgeous album covering nine of the best known tunes from Ellingtonia. There's not a weak track on the album ("In a Mellowtone" and "Solitude" are personal favorites). The second of his five Virtuoso sessions, Virtuoso #2 [Rating: 5.0] (Pablo, 1977/1987, prod. Norman Granz) finds Pass taking on more contemporary material, including his stunning versions of Coltrane's "Giant Steps," two Chick Corea tunes, and even Marv Albert's "Feelings," which he actually turns into a credible jazz vehicle. His funky romp on Carl Perkins's "Grooveyard" is another highlight.

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