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Recommended Listening; Links
Wes Montgomery is regarded as one of the greatest exponents of the jazz guitar.
"It's a very hard instrument to accept because it takes years to start working with it - that's first - and it looks like everybody else is moving on the instrument except you. Then when you find a cat that's really playing, you always find out he's been playing a long time. You can't get around it."
- Wes Montgomery comments to Ralph Gleason on playing the guitar. From an interview c. 1960.
View Wes' restored L5C (before and after photos are from the August 1998 issue of Guitar Player magazine). Go to http://www.gould68.freeserve.co.uk/wesg.htm. for details regarding the restoration of this guitar. Go to this website: http://www.stuntzner.brent.org/Transcriptions.html for transcriptions by Wes and many other great jazz guitarists.
Ed Bickert is a master of improvised chordal melody. Go to Roy Patterson's website for a PDF transcription of "I'm Old Fashioned" from the 1975 recording, "Pure Desmond" and to Central Park North for a PDF transcription of "Everything I Love" from the same album. Also, "Please Be Kind" from Alex Rogowski's website.
Hank Garland is a jazz hero who's career was cut short by an unfortunate accident. His pivotal album, "Jazz Winds from a New Direction", is one that every guitarist should listen to. He also co-designed the Byrdland guitar for Gibson with friend, Billy Byrd. Go to the IMDb website for more information on this great musician.
The January, 1981 issue of Guitar Player magazine features Hank Garland on the cover.
A photo of two greats - Tal Farlow and Hank. You will find some H. G. midi files and transcriptions at Visionmusic.com.
Sometimes you can plainly hear the country influence in Hank's playing. Here's a lick Hank plays in the first few bars of the bridge section in "All The Things You Are" during the trade-offs with Gary Burton. If you can play it at tempo, well, there you are.
Of course, when it comes to jazz guitar, the gifted George Benson is in a category all by himself. His debut album in 1965, "It's Uptown", has some of the best guitar playing you would want to hear. Also, check out the sound clips from George's second album, "The George Benson Cookbook".
Here's George playing a Les Paul solid body with Jack McDuff in 1964:
"George Benson avec J McDuff Antibes 1964.
The 1986 concert performance at Montreux: The set is well-filmed, the sound of the band is great, and George is at the top of his game playing his Ibanez FG100.
The following is a sixteen minute documentary on the making of
"George Benson - Absolutely Live" in 2000 (Source: YouTube.com):
Rene Thomas was an underrated jazz guitarist who played in the style of Jimmy Raney. Here is a pdf file transcription of the head to "Meeting", from the 1963 recording, "Meeting Mister Thomas" - Gitanes 549 812-2.
This pdf file is a transcription by Montreal jazz guitarist, Greg Amirault - the first three choruses of Rene Thomas' solo on "Like Someone In Love" from "Guitar Groove" - Jazzland 927- OJCCD1725.
Follow this link to Jimmy Raney.
Learn more about the great jazz guitarist, Jim Hall, at the following websites: www.jimhallmusic.com and Dave Gould's Guitar Pages. Guitarists like Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, John Scofield and Ed Bickert have all been greatly inspired by Jim Hall's legato style of playing, whereby the phrases are more horn like. A very smooth sound is produced by incorporating hammer-on, pull-off and sliding techniques with the left hand rather than picking every note with the right.
Here is a pdf of the lead sheet for "Lookin' Up" from the Jim Hall/Pat Metheny Duo CD.
H.R. wasn't really a dirty guitar player like his old LP cover said. In fact, his sound was very clean and precise. Aside from being one of the most eclectic studio musicians around, Howard Roberts was a great jazzman, educator and all round nice guy. Go to this website to learn a bit about him: