Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Guitar Virtuoso distills the work Joe Pass did for Pablo records and producer Norman Granz between 1973 and 1992 into one terrific 4 CD package. Disc one culls some of his finest solo studio performances. Disc two places h... more »
Guitar Virtuoso distills the work Joe Pass did for Pablo records and producer Norman Granz between 1973 and 1992 into one terrific 4 CD package. Disc one culls some of his finest solo studio performances. Disc two places him in small group studio contexts, including duets with guitarist Herb Ellis, a trio with Oscar Peterson on piano and Ray Brown on bass, and a quartet with Duke Ellington on piano, Brown on bass, and Louis Bellson on drums. Disc three consists of live solo and group performances. Disc four features Pass accompanying vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, plus duet tracks with guitarist John Pisano, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, and bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson. --John Swenson
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Tweeedly Eeeedly | Fremont, CA United States | 01/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joe Pass is one of my favorite musicians and guitarists in any genre. This boxed set, while not cheap, is worth the pricetag. The sound quality and packaging are very good (a few of the cuts could have sounded better in my opinion. For example, the cuts from the "Virtuoso" album where Joe's plays an electric guitar acoustically (apparently because his amp died on the session, according to the accompanying booklet))- but the remastering makes the best of the situation). The 63 cuts in this collection are taken from 29 different albums (by my count), giving an excellent overview of Joe's talent. It should be noted that Joe played on many more albums than are represented in this set. I trust that this compilation (produced by Eric Miller; Norman Granz's partner and producer on most of Joe's original recordings) represents highlights from Joe's work. I was not familiar with most of the standards in the collection, so it is harder for me to appreciate the "melodic witticisms" that Joe brings out in them. However, I do find his sense of harmony and melody extrodinary. Joe's tone is different from most modern-day Jazz guitarists. I don't think there is a single cut where he uses an effect like Chorus. Most of the time, Joe plays the electric or nylon-string acoustic with his bare fingers. It is definitely different than say a Metheney or a Wes Montogomery sound - not better, not worse... just different. Also, he rarely seems to record with a muted tone - which seems to be in vogue these days. At first I was dissapointed that there was so much vocal music on disc four (mostly with Ella Fitzgerald), but now I admit that these are some of my favorites and they show a totally different side to Joe's playing (and Ella is fantastic... I'm now a fan of her work too!). One of the amazing things about this set is you realize just how developed Joe was at the start of his Pablo career - his approach doesn't seem to change on any of the songs. I'm not saying his playing is redundant, it is just that you realize how mature he was when he started with Pablo records in 1972. There is a wealth of superb performances on this collection, my favorites (besides the solo stuff) are the duo and group recordings - in particular with Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Duke Ellington, Zoot Sims, John Pisano, Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, Ray Brown and Jimmy Rowles. Besides classical guitarists, Joe Pass is the only Jazz guitarist I know that can make his instrument "fill" like a piano when playing solo yet NOT sound cluttered when playing with a pianist. If you like standards (although there are plenty of originals here) and improvisational Jazz guitar, I consider this set a must have. However, if you are simply a fan of jazz, you could do much worse than spending ... on this boxed set. I give it my highest recommendation."