When considering all the talent that exists in jazz, there exist damn few musicians who can be deemed without peer. Art Tatum and Charlie Parker might be considered as such; Joe Pass might be the definition of a musician without peer. Pass arrived magically on the recording scene in 1962 with The Sound of Synanon (Pacific Jazz 48) named for the famous drug rehabilitation facility whose alumni include Art Pepper, among others.
This was not the true beginning of his career. Pass was active in the late 1940s with big bands, including Charlie Barnet’s. Pass spent most of the next decade heroin-addicted and serving time in prison. After Synanon, it would be another decade be fore he truly arrived and arrive he did in 1973 with Virtuoso. With this recording, Pass demonstrated that a guitarist could play the melody, bass line, and solo all at the same time and all this on up-tempo pieces like "Cherokee" and "How High the Moon." Pass went on to record many more such albums for the Pablo imprint, but this is where it all began. The remastering gives back the analogue warmth absent from previous CD releases. Welcome back, old friend.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.