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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

What is Jazz?

The Story of Jazz Guitar

By Published: January 27, 2009
George Benson

Apparently discovered by Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
b.1933
producer
when he was eight, George Benson
George Benson
George Benson
b.1943
guitar
is, of course, a huge mainstream popular music star. However, his jazz albums (including his singing) of the late-'60s and early-'70s are swinging. Here's a clip of Benson performing one of his early hits, "On Broadway," from a 2006 show:





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John McLaughlin / John Scofield / Mike Stern

Fusion, no tunes and... feedback. The legacy of Jimi Hendrix on jazz is John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
b.1942
guitar
and his angular successors. His first album, recorded in England, was the exotic Extrapolation (Polydor, 1969). Soon he was on Miles Davis' In a Silent Way (Legacy) and Bitches Brew (Legacy) in the same year, later making the two excellent Mahavishnu Orchestra
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Mahavishnu Orchestra
b.1971
band/orchestra
albums The Inner Mounting Flame (Legacy, 1971) and Birds of Fire (Legacy, 1972). Bye bye Gershwin, hello Shakti (his Indian world music group of the mid-'70s). The 1960s resulted in fully electric jazz (electric pianos, sometimes trumpets, and more) and fusion jazz everywhere.



Here's a clip of John McLaughlin performing "Dance of the Maya," with Mahavishnu Orchestra, in 1972:







John Scofield

John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
is in the fusion mold, perhaps a breath of fresh air compared to the current laid back commercial jazz guitarists. Mike Stern
Mike Stern
Mike Stern
b.1953
guitar
was part of Miles Davis' comeback band in 1981, with Scofield joining in 1982:







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