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Progressions. 100 Years Of Jazz Guitar CD2 (2005)

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Progressions. 100 Years Of Jazz Guitar CD2 (2005)

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1. Bill Dearango & Dizzy Gillespie — Ol' Man Rebop [ 2:44]
2. Barney Kessel & The Poll Winners — On Green Dolphin Street [ 4:03]
3. George Van Eps — What Is This Thing Called Love [ 2:19]
4. Jimmy Raney — Body And Soul [ 3:39]
5. Chuck Wayne & Tony Bennett — My Baby Just Cares For Me [ 2:20]
6. Les Paul — Runnin' Wild [ 1:54]
7. Chet Atkins — Mountain Melody [ 2:10]
8. Tal Farlow — Yardbird Suite [ 5:16]
9. Johnny Smith — The Boy Next Door [ 2:37]
10.Laurindo Almeida — Tocata [ 4:47]
11.Jim Hall & Bill Evans — I've Got You Under My Skin [ 3:23]
12.Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto — Aguas De Marco (Waters Of March) [ 4:41]
13.Toots Thielemans — Bluesette [ 2:50]
14.Kenny Burrell — Midnight Blue [ 4:03]
15.The Wynton Kelly Trio & Wes Montgomery — Unit 7 [ 6:46]
16.Herb Ellis & Oscar Peterson — Naptown Blues [ 5:19]
17.Hank Garland — Move [ 4:27]
18.Howard Roberts — Easy Living [ 4:08]
19.Grant Green — Jean De Fleur [ 6:50]
20.Joe Pass — Night And Day [ 3:44]

 

This is a wonderful set in many ways, not the least of which is that it provides the listener with a variety of early musicians and the development of guitar (including its predecessor, banjo) in jazz. While you may not want to buy full selections of Smeck, Condon, Lange, etc., and others from the 20s and 30s, this will provide a valuable and entertaining progression of guitar creativity in jazz. It progresses well into the 80s and beyond.

There is a quote from Pablo Picasso, which says, "nothing stifles creativity like good taste" or words to that effect. I too play jazz guitar, and I'm not so sure I would exclude any of the examples included, as each, in some way, has pushed the sound, the application, the voice of the guitar to a new point. I think, by and large, guitarist are rather traditional and conservative, and often wishing to appear to have good taste'. I'd prefer to taste things myself, and then decide if something is good, rather than have someone make the decision for me.

Also, looking backward in a genre isn't always the best perspective, imho. One reviewer is disappointed that Hendrix is included, I am not. When I think about his sound, his creative techniques, and, his thematic development in solos, interesting chord coloration, I think the inclusion is indeed merited. More to the point, the inclusion may well prompt the listener to better appreciate 'jazz elements' which aren't always so categorized by media and industry marketing. I think of mandolin players like Grisman, Reischman, and Matt Flinner, often relegated to the bluegrass genre, due only to the fact that they are playing a mandolin.

Perhaps, best of all, since jazz is a very extensive genre, and one that isn't always easy to become familiar with, I think this is a superb place to start for any guitarist or listener to get a overview of jazz guitar, and then know where to start in depth. I also think the packaging is beautiful and the book is very interesting, not only giving brief bios of the players, but also a tip of the hat to guitars, and a brief but interesting analysis of a few solos.

And for many who are interested but not wishing to go in depth, or, for those that simply want to find some previously unknown music in this genre that they enjoy, its likely to be here, be it early swing blues, classic 50s, progressive, or contemporary. The joy of this set, even for those of us who enjoy jazz and know it, is there is likely to be something new and interesting. More so for the new and uninitiated or those seeking to start their journey. For me, I was particularly surprised by Roy Smeck's accompaniment of a very young Martha Raye singing a somewhat risqué tune for the time. Or some of the Hawaiian guitar selections, a genre that was the national rage in the late 20's. Listening to it with the perspective of how new and unusual it must have been at the time, makes understanding the rage easy.

I have had this set a few years now, and I regularly re-visit each disc, and listen critically, and only a few selections at one time to better appreciate each selection and era, as there is always something new and interesting to my ear. There are some great selections in this set. You may not be in the mood for all of them at any given sitting, given the huge range , but all are superb, imho. ---Steven H. Dymond, amazon.com

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