Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jazz Guitar

So far in class, we haven't talked much about jazz guitar other than its traditional role in the rhythm section. After years of the development of jazz, guitarists have found a way to break out of that strictly rhythm role and take the lead. While guitar-lead jazz is certainly different than the bop, hard bop, etc. we are so familiar with, it still has great swing (earlier music) and some very talented players play some great solos much like the horn greats we all know and love.

Here is a very early and extremely important guitarist, Django Reinhardt. Reinhardt was born in Belgium in 1910, and his musical career spanned from 1928 to 1953. Reinhardt was a great forerunner to jazz guitarists today. Another interesting fact; Reinhardt played largely with only two fingers on his fretting had due to a childhood accident, so his playing becomes even more impressive after this fact.

Another notable guitarist is Larry Carlton. Carlton played many kinds of music in his career, but was always influenced by artists such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. He played one of the most famous guitar solos of all time on Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" but his guitar skill was, in my opinion, more evident in his jazz recordings. This style is much more of a jazz fusion, but his playing still retains a very jazzy and improvised quality. The second guitarist in this video is Lee Ritenour, another notable jazz guitarist.

Other notable Jazz guitarists include John Mclaughlin, who plays primarily jazz fusion (in fact, he played on Miles Davis' later electric fusion albums) but has done some more classic style tracks as well. Wes Montgomery was also a great jazz guitarist who spanned many genres of jazz.

And Pat Metheny, a very well known and critically acclaimed Jazz guitarist in the 70s and 80s, is from Lee's Summit, Missouri, which is very close to Kansas City.

1 comment:

  1. When you get around to Sonny Sharrock, let me know. Sharrock made the rest of them look lame. He was the Hendricks of jazz!