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Virtuoso #3

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Album Review

This LP in Joe Pass' Virtuoso series differs from the others in that the unaccompanied guitarist performs a dozen originals rather than standards. Pass, who had previously mostly composed blues-oriented pieces, proves to be a surprisingly effective composer, even if his song titles (which include "Sevenths," "Ninths," "Dissonance #1," and "Dissonance #2") are not too inspired. There are more ballads than usual in a Pass solo showcase, but there is enough variety to hold one's interest, even if none of these pieces (which includes one called "Paco DeLucia") caught on.


Born: 13 January 1929 in New Brunswick, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Joe Pass did the near-impossible. He was able to play up-tempo versions of bop tunes such as "Cherokee" and "How High the Moon" unaccompanied on the guitar. Unlike Stanley Jordan, Pass used conventional (but superb) technique, and his Virtuoso series on Pablo still sounds remarkable decades later. Joe Pass had a false start in his career. He played in a few swing bands (including Tony Pastor's) before graduating from high school, and was with Charlie Barnet for a time in 1947. But after serving...
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Virtuoso #3, Joe Pass
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