386

Joe Pass: Meditation: Solo Guitar

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Pass: Meditation: Solo Guitar

Solo Pass...

I wonder if Norman Granz ever fully appreciated the talent he accumulated beneath the mantle of Pablo Records. Ella, Oscar, Joe, Bill (Basie), Ray, Dizzy, Milt, Jon and the list goes on. Listening to Joe Pass’ Meditation, a previously unissued live set from Yoshi’s recorded in 1992, I can not help but think how Joe Pass is like another Pablo Alum, Art Tatum. Both artists were thoroughly documented by Granz before their deaths; both were exposed in solo and group performances. Musically, both had the uncanny ability to toss off melodic lines within sophisticated harmonic structures like Byron could throw off stanzas of Don Juan while drinking brandy. Additional, they both had perhaps the broadest Books in jazz.

Meditation is a recital of standards typical of Pass during the end of his life. His repertoire varied little, which was easy to accomplish since he played everything. It is a collection of 12 ballads (and if they were not technically ballads, they were all played as such) that highlight the introvert/extrovert dichotomy characteristic of Pass’ playing—at once frenetic and laid-back. Pass painted this performance in Brazilian undertones that bleed through spectacularly on the Jobim title cut and the Brown/Kahn classic "You Stepped Out of A Dream." Pass takes Ellington’s "Mood Indigo" and plays it as if Thelonious Monk was playing his signature stride piano on six strings. "All the Things You Are" is played like a mainstream standard rather what Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. In this respect, it remains a barnburner, even as a ballad. Pass decorates the tune with single string flourishes that are bright like pansies in winter.

Joe Pass exists as one of the truly singular talents in jazz. There are damn few like him—perhaps Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, NHØP, and the rest of the artists that Norman Granz cornered the jazz market with his humble label, Pablo. Let’s hope there is much, much more of this fine music waiting to be released.


Track Listing: Meditation; Shadow Waltz; Mood Indigo; More Than You Know; When Your Lover Has Gone; Everything Happens To Me; It's Alright With Me; I'll Never Be The Same; You Stepped Out Of A Dream; All The Things You Are; How Deep Is The Ocean; They Can't Take That Away From Me. (Total Time: 52:43).

Personnel: Joe Pass

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Wrong is Right" CD/LP/Track Review Wrong is Right
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" CD/LP/Track Review The Magnificent Thad Jones
by Greg Simmons
Published: November 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!