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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Guitar Masterclass - simply superb!, 4 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Virtuoso #2 (Audio CD)
Fans of Jazz, and Jazz guitar in particular will be very familiar with the work of Joe Pass, and yet it is somewhat miraculous that he ever became such a legendary player, and produced a body of work so varied and important.

He was born into a non musical family and began playing the guitar at 9 years old. He played with several professional groups in his teens (although at this time he was exclusively an ensemble player, and had not developed his incredible solo technique), but soon fell victim to alcohol and drug abuse. For well over a decade, he was in and out of prison, consumed by drugs, and totally out of action musically. While in rehab for 18 months, he abandoned the guitar altogether, and only slowly returned to playing, releasing his first 'comeback' album while still in rehab, performed on a solid-body rock guitar donated to the centre. Its a superb release and well worth checking out - "Sounds of Synanon".

Playing the sessions and studios after his rehabilitation, it was only 10 years later that he was spotted by Norman Granz and signed to his Pablo label, where he recorded and released a string of revolutionary albums that still inspire jazz musicians today, including the Virtuoso series.

Virtuoso 2 features some standards, alongside a number of contemporary tunes, including Coltrane's "Giant Steps". This release is a much more mellow affair than Virtuoso 1, but no less stunning. It showcases his mastery of the instrument to just as great an extent. "On Green Dolphin Street" is a true masterpiece, endlessly inventive and demonstrating his tremendous harmonic awareness. "Limehouse Blues" seems entirely re-invented and re-invigorated - it is an awesome technical workout and blows me away every time.

This is a brilliant showcase of one of the greatest Jazz guitarists ever to have lived. If you love jazz, buy it! If you love great guitar, buy it! If you've never heard Joe Pass before, buy it! If you have a fiver spare, buy it! If the day has a 'd' in it, buy it! Just buy it!!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jun 2013 11:42:47 BDT
Muso says:
Alright, alright! I've bought it! How could I not? Joe was peerless (that means without equal)
Amazingly he was also warm, witty, sincere and charming. Quite a bundle of attributes for
one human being.
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Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

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