Progressions: One Hundred Years of Jazz
One Hundred Years of Jazz Guitar
Disc 1 [75:53]
St. Louis Tickle [3:07]
Vess Ossman (banjo) with the Ossman-Dudley Trio.
New York, 1906.
Chain Gang Blues [2:50]
Sam Moore (octochorda). New York, 1921.
Savoy Blues [3:26]
Lonnie Johnson (acoustic guitar), Johnny St.
Cyr (12 –string guitar), Louis Armstrong (cornet),
Kid Ory (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet),
Lil Armstrong (piano). Chicago, 1927.
The Only, Only One (For Me) [3:10]
Sol Hoopii (Hawaiian guitar) with Sol Hoopii’s
Novelty Trio. Los Angeles, 1927.
Add a Little Wiggle [2:56]
Eddie Lang (acoustic guitar), Frank Signorelli
Clowin’ the Frets [2:37]
Eddie Bush (steel guitar) with the Los Angeles
Biltmore Trio. Los Angeles, 1928.
California Blues [3:02]
Benny "King" Nawahi (steel guitar,
ukelele, banjo) with the Georgia Jumpers. New
How'm I Doin’/Dinah [3:01]
Martha Raye (vocal) with Roy Smeck (acoustic
guitar). New York, 1932.
Who's Sorry Now [3:06]
Billy Banks & His Rhythmakers: Billy Banks
(vocal), Henry "Red" Allan (trumpet),
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet, tenor sax), Joe Sullivan
(piano), Eddie Condon (4-string acoustic guitar),
Jack Bland (acoustic guitar), Al Morgan (bass),
Zutty Singleton (drums). New York, 1932.
Carl Kress (acoustic guitar), Dick McDonough
(acoustic guitar). New York, 1934.
China Boy [2:47]
Candy & Coco: Otto "Coco" Heimel (acoustic
guitar), Gene Austin (piano), Candy Candido
(bass), Monk Hazel (trumpet mouthpiece, drums).
Los Angeles, 1934.
Andy Iona & His Islanders with Sam Koki
(electric guitar). Los Angeles, 1934.
Swingin’ on the Strings [2:36]
The Ink Spots: Charlie Fuqua (vocal, acoustic
guitar, ukelele), Jerry Daniels (vocal, acoustic
guitar), Ivory Watson (vocal, acoustic guitar),
Orville "Happy" Jones (vocal, bass).
New York, 1935.
Honeysuckle Rose [2:54]
Django Reinhardt (acoustic guitar), Stephane
Grappelli (violin), Roger Chaput, Eugene Vees
(acoustic guitars), Louis Vola (bass). London,
Guitar Swing [2:57]
Casey Bill Weldon [acoustic guitar, vocal),
accompanied by the Brown Bombers of Swing. Chicago,
Love Me or Leave Me [2:48]
Kansas City Five: Eddie Durham (electric guitar),
Freddie Green (acoustic guitar), Buck Clayton
(trumpet), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums).
New York, 1938.
Oscar Alemán (acoustic guitar). Copenhagen,
Pickin’ for Patsy [2:44]
Jack Teagarden & His Orchestra with Allan
Reuss (acoustic guitar). New York, 1939.
Little Rock Getaway [2:31]
George Barnes (electric guitar), Earl Backus
(acoustic guitar), Philip Ward (tenor sax),
Taft Moore (bass). Chicago, 1940.
Solo Flight [2:48]
Charlie Christian (electric guitar) with Benny
Goodman & His Orchestra. New York, 1941.
Buck Jumpin’ [2:36]
Al Casey (acoustic guitar), with Fats Waller
& His Rhythm: Fats Waller (piano, vocal),
Cedric Wallace (bass), Slick Jones (drums).
New York, 1941.
Twin Guitar Special [2:40]
Leon McAuliffe (electric guitar), Eldon Shamblin
(electric guitar) with Bob Wills & His Texas
Playboys. Dallas, 1941.
I'm Walkin’ This Town [2:52]
Teddy Bunn (electric guitar) with The Spirits
of Rhythm: Wilbur Daniels, Douglas Daniels (tiples,
vocals), Wellman Braud (bass), Leo Watson (drums,
vocal). Hollywood, 1941.
Palm Springs Jump [2:40]
Slim Gaillard (electric guitar, vocal), Ben
Webster (tenor sax), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Slam
Stewart (bass, vocal), Leo Watson (drums). Hollywood,
Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You [2:55]
Nat King Cole Trio (piano), Oscar Moore (electric
guitar), Wesley prince (bass). Hollywood, 1944.
Red Cross [3:10]
Tiny Grimes (electric guitar), Charlie Parker
(alto sax), Clyde Hart (piano), Jimmy Butts
(bass), Hal West (drums). New York, 1944.
Disc 2 [78:13]
Ol' Man Rebop [2:44]
Bill de Arango (guitar), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet),
Don Byas (tenor sax), Milt Jackson (vibes),
Al Haig (piano), Ray Brown (bass), J.C. Heard
(drums). New York, 1946.
On Green Dolphin Street [4:03]
Barney Kessel (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), Shelly
Manne (drums). Los Angeles, 1957.
What Is This Thing Called Love [2:20]
George Van Eps (guitar), Alvin Stoller (bongos).
Los Angeles, 1956.
Body and Soul [3:40]
Jimmy Raney (guitar), Sonny Clark (piano), Red
Mitchell (bass), Bobby White (drums). Paris,
My Baby Just Cares for Me [2:21]
Tony Bennett (vocal), Chuck Wayne (guitar),
Charles Panely (trumpet), Dave Schildkraut (alto
sax), Carmen Dimauro (tenor sax), Harvey Leonard
(piano), Clyde Lombardi (bass), Ed Shaughnessy
(drums). New York, 1954.
Running Wild [1:55]
Les Paul (guitars), Mary Ford (vocal), other
personnel unknown. Location unknown, 1956.
Mountain Melody [2:07]
Chet Atkins (guitar), Jack Shock (guitar), Marvin
Hughes (piano), Ernie Newton (bass). Location
Yardbird Suite [5:17]
Tal Farlow (guitar), Eddie Costa (piano), Vinnie
Burke (bass). New York, 1956.
The Boy Next Door [2:38]
Johnny Smith (guitar). New York, March 1957.
Laurindo Almeida (guitar), Bud Shank (alto sax),
Harry Babasin (bass), Roy Harte (drums). Los
I’ve Got You Under My Skin [3:24]
Bill Evans (piano), Jim Hall (guitar). Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey, 1966.
Águas de Março (Waters
of March) [4:39]
João Giberto (acoustic guitar, vocal),
Stan Getz (tenor sax), Al Dailey (piano), Steve
Swallow (bass), Billy Hart (drums), Airto Moreira
(caxixi, bells), Ray Armando frigideira, conchas),
Rubens Bassini (ganza), Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda
(Miucha) (vocal). New York, 1975.
Toots Thielemans (guitar, whistling), Peter
Jacques (organ), Jimmy Woode (bass), Conny Svensson
(drums). Stockholm, 1962.
Midnight Blue [4:01]
Kenny Burrell (guitar), Major Holley (bass),
Bill English (drums), Ray Barretto (congas).
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1967.
Unit 7 [6:46]
Wes Montgomery (guitar), Wynton Kelly (piano),
Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums). Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey, 1965.
Naptown Blues [5:19]
Herb Ellis (guitar), Oscar Peterson (piano),
Sam Jones (bass), Bobby Durham (drums). Villingen,
Hank Garland (guitar), Gary Burton (vibes),
Joe Benjamin (bass), Joe Morello (drums). Nashville,
Easy Living [4:09]
Howard Roberts (guitar), Pete Jolly (piano),
Red Mitchell (bass), Stan Levey (drums). Los
Jean de Fleur [6:50]
Grant Green (guitar), Joe Henderson (tenor sax),
Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), Duke Pearson (piano),
Bob Cranshaw (bass), Al Harewood (drums). Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey, 1963.
Night and Day [3:44]
Joe Pass (guitar), John Pisano (guitar), Jim
Hugart (bass), Colin Bailey (drums). Los Angeles,
Disc 3 [76:58]
George Benson (guitar), Ronnie Cuber (baritone
sax), Lonnie Smith (organ), Jimmy Lovelace (drums).
New York, 1966.
Just Friends [5:49]
Pat Martino (guitar), Trudy Pitts (organ), Mitch
Fine (drums). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey,
A Taste of Honey [4:20]
Lenny Breau (guitar), Ron Halldorson (bass),
Reg Kellin (drums). Shelley’s Mannehole, Los
How Insensitive [2:42]
Charlie Byrd (acoustic guitar), other personnel
unknown. New York, 1967.
Gypsy Queen [5:09]
Gabor Szabo (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Chico
Hamilton (drums), Victor Pantoja (percussion),
Willie Bobo (percussion). Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey, 1966.
June the 15, 1967 [4:51]
Larry Coryell (guitar), Gary Burton (vibes),
Steve Swallow (bass), Roy Haynes (drums). Hollywood,
As We Used to Sing [6:22]
Sonny Sharrock (guitar), Pharoah Sanders (soprano
sax), Charnett Moffett (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).
New York, 1991.
Should Be Reversed [3:50]
Derek Bailey (acoustic guitar). England, 1967.
Manic Depression [3:41]
Jimi Hendrix (guitar), Noel Redding (bass),
Mitch Mitchell (drums). London, 1967.
Birds of Fire [5:43]
John McLaughlin (guitar) with The Mahavishnu
Orchestra: Jerry Goodman(violin), Jan Hammer
(keyboards), Rick Laird (bass), Billy Cobham
(drums). London / New York, 1972.
Mick Goodrick (guitar), Gary Burton (vibes),
Abraham Laboriel (bass), Harry Blazer (drums).
Fayville, MA, 1973.
Ralph’s Piano Waltz [4:52]
John Abercrombie (guitar), Jan Hammer (organ),
Jack deJohnette (drums). New York, 1974.
The Prowler [4:58]
Ralph Towner (classical guitar). Oslo, 2000.
Bright Size Life [4:43]
Pat Metheny (guitar), Jaco Pastorius (bass),
Bob Moses (drums). Ludwigsburg, Germany, 1975.
Aqui, Oh! (Check This Out) [4:57]
Toninho Horta (electric and acoustic guitars,
vocal) and ensemble. Brazil, 1981.
Midnight in San Juan [5:52]
Earl Klugh (acoustic guitar, keyboards), unknown
tenor sax, Ronnie Foster, Barney Finch, Mark
Nilan (keyboards), Abraham Laboriel (bass),
Harvey Mason (drums, percussion), Paulinho da
Costa (percussion). New York / Hollywood, March
1989 – April 1990.
Disc 4 [78:33]
Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)
Carlos Santana (guitars), Tom Coster (keyboards),
David Brown (bass), Ndugu Leon Chancler (drums,
percussion), Armando Peraza (congas, bongos).
San Francisco, 1976.
Inner City Blues [6:43]
Phil Upchurch (guitar), Arthur Adams (rhythm
guitar), Joe Sample (piano), Chuck Rainey (bass),
Harvey Mason (drums), Bobbye Hall (percussion).
Eric Gale (guitar), Grover Washington, Jr. (tenor
sax), Bob James (keyboards), Richard Tee (keyboards),
Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Ralph
McDonald (percussion) and horn section. New
Larry Carlton (guitar) with The Crusaders: Wayne
Henderson (trombone), Wilton Felder (tenor sax),
Joe Sample (keyboards), Robert "Pops"
Popwell (bass), Stix Hooper (drums, percussion).
Captain Fingers [7:07]
Lee Ritenour (360 systems polyphonic guitar
synthesizer) and ensemble. Hollywood, 1976.
Mr. Spock [6:14]
Allan Holdsworth (guitar) with Tony Williams
Lifetime: Tony Williams (drums), Alan Pasqua
(keyboards), Tony Newton (bass). New York, 1975.
Race with Devil on Spanish Highway [6:16]
Al DiMeola (guitar, timbales), Barry Miles (electric
piano, piano, Mini-Moog), Anthony Jackson (bass),
Lenny White (drums), Mingo Lewis (congas). New
Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers
Jeff Beck (guitar), Max Middleton (keyboards),
Phil Chenn (bass), Richard Bailey (drums, percussion).
James Blood Ulmer (guitar), Charles Burnham
(violin), Warren Benbow (drums). New York, 1983.
Bill Frisell (guitar, loops), Ron Miles (trumpet),
Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Billy Drewes (alto
sax), Greg Leisz (lap steel guitar), David Piltch
(bass), Kenny Wolleson (drums). Burbank, 2001.
John Scofield (guitar), John Medeski (keyboards),
Chris Wood (bass), Billy Martin (drums). New
Marc Ribot (guitar), John Medeski (organ), Brad
Jones (bass), EJ Rodriguez (drums and percusion),
Madeline Hunt-Erhlich, Mattan Ingram, Miles
Ingram, EJ Rodriguez (vocals). Hoboken, 1998.
Mike Stern (guitar), Miles Davis (trumpet),
Marcus Miller (bass0, Al Foster (drums), Sammy
Figueroa (percussion). New York, 1981.
In a certain kind of record
store, one sees collections with titles like
The Only Classical Album You’ll
Ever Need or The Greatest Jazz Collection
Ever. Anybody approaching Progressions:
100 Years of Jazz Guitar in the expectation
that this is the kind of all-inclusive, definitive
collection which such titles optimistically
claim to be, will surely be disappointed.
On the other hand, those willing to accept
it as a sampler of the contribution the guitar
has made to jazz – and related musics – will
surely find much to enjoy here, some of it
likely to be familiar, some rather less so.
Definition is one problem – is banjo music
of 1906 really jazz? How much jazz is there
in the work of Carlos Santana? Or in that
of Jimi Hendrix – though the blues are certainly
there. But let’s not get too bogged down in
terminology and turn to the music itself.
The first two tracks are
perhaps best thought of as representing the
prehistory of jazz, or perhaps parallel early
developments. Ossman is a considerable technician
and was a much recorded banjo player, to whom
quite a few early jazz musicians had certainly
listened. Sam Moore was a vaudeville musician
whose recording of his own ‘Chain Gang Blues’
is played on the octa-chorda, an eight-stringed
instrument with the invention of which Moore
is sometimes credited. His performance fuses
Hawaiian traditions, ragtime and a dash of
country blues. The result is oddly attractive.
With ‘Savoy Blues’ we enter jazz’s undisputed
territory. Perhaps this will already be in
most jazz collections; but it is instructive
to listen to it in this different context.
It makes one listen with renewed attention
to the work of Johnny St. Cyr and Lonnie Johnson
– from which the playing of Louis Armstrong
provides all too powerful a distraction. Eddie
Lang, who might be regarded as the first guitarist
to develop a distinctive jazz solo style,
with its single string work, its use of broken
chords and solid bass, is represented by a
duet with the pianist Frank Signorelli rather
than by his more famous partnership with the
violinist Joe Venuti, or by one of his recordings
with Lonnie Johnson. (This is quite a common
pattern in this anthology – whether for contractual
reasons or otherwise; though most of the big
names are here the tracks on which they appear
are sometimes not fully representative or
characteristic). Two guitarists much influenced
by Lang, Carl Kress and Dick McDonogh, are
heard playing their subtle 1934 duet ‘Danzon’.
Other highlights of Disc 1 include Django
Reinhardt with the Quintet of the Hot Club
of France and Charlie Christian with the Benny
Goodman Band. Reinhardt’s ravishing solo on
‘Honeyuckle Rose’ is said to have been one
which Charlie Christian knew by heart. Christian
himself is here in the form of a famous recording
of ‘Solo Flight’, virtually a miniature concerto
for electric guitar and big band. Some of
Christian’s more boppish work would have been
nice, but the compilers seem to have exercised
a rule of only one track per guitarist. There
is some trivia on Disc 1, such as the tracks
by Eddie Bush, Roy Smeck and Benny Nahawi,
material one might have readily given up for
examples of the work of, say, Elmer Snowden,
Danny Barker or Everett Barksdale.
Disc 2 begins with the beboppers.
Opening with two fine tracks featuring Bill
De Arango and Barney Kessell. A lovely version
of ‘Body and Soul’ by Jimmy Raney, with the
excellent Sonny Clark on piano; Tal Farlow’s
version of ‘Yardbird Suite’, with superb piano
work by Eddie Costa; one of the exquisite
duets between Jim Hall and Bill Evans – there
is plenty of excellent jazz here, and it isn’t
only the guitarists who attract one’s attention
and approval. Sophisticated harmonic playing
from Howard Roberts, bluesy work from Kenny
Burrell: there’s a great deal here that is
central to the jazz tradition. The great Wes
Montgomery is represented by part of a session
with the Wynton Kelly trio, a context which
often elicited (as here) some of his best
work. Grant Green and Joe Pass round off the
disc – my own preference would have been for
hearing Joe Pass unaccompanied, but his playing
here is certainly impressive. There is a great
deal to enjoy and admire on this second disc.
I do, though, miss the work of Billy Bauer,
one of the most original guitarists of the
1940s and ’50s, frequent collaborator with
With Discs 3 and 4, we are
presented with a sampler of, mainly, the sheer
diversity of guitar playing in what might
be loosely defined as jazz during the 1960’s
and later. Certainly Charlie Byrd playing
‘How Insensitive’ and Derek Bailey ‘Should
be Reversed’ have near enough nothing in common.
Nor do Jimi Hendrix playing ‘Manic Depression’
and Gabor Szabo tackling ‘Gypsy Queen’. Eclecticism
and diversity, the renewed opening up of jazz
to other influences – or its dilution into
fusion and rock, depending on your point of
view – were the name of the game and that
game is generously represented in the last
two discs of this set. Sometimes the eclecticism
is grounded in a firm jazz sensibility – as
in the intriguing live recording by Lenny
Breau, a guitarist not heard as often as he
ought to be. Elsewhere jazz seems a pretty
minor contributor to the stylistic from which
the music has been made. Hendrix’s ‘Manic
Depression’, for example, has no obvious debts
to the jazz mainstream; the same might, I
suppose, be said of Bailey’s ‘Should be Reversed’,
utterly different as the two tracks are. All
that they might be said to have in common
is a determination to extend the boundaries
of the guitar’s sound world and that, in doing
so, there were opened up new resources which
more obviously ‘jazz’ guitarists like John
McLaughlin and Pat Metheny would later put
to use. In fact, the generic terms become
almost useless in discussing the guitar music
of this later period. The distinctive idioms
of, say Ralph Towner, Mick Goodrick and John
Abercrombie, especially in the recordings
made for ECM, belonged in a territory which
might only have been mapped using co-ordinates
taken from jazz, flamenco, rock, blues and
country and western. James ‘Blood’ Ullmer’s
‘Church’ owes debts to Ornette Coleman, to
blues and to rock. As Discs 3 and 4 get nearer
the present, commercial fusion music becomes
more prominent. I can hear nothing jazz-like
in Toninho Horta’s percussion heavy Brazilian
music and Earl Klugh’s ‘Midnight in San Juan’,
though it contains the occasional jazz lick,
is so smooth and bland as to become tedious
before its six minutes are over. Whitney Balliett
famously described jazz as "the sound
of surprise". There are far too few surprises
on Disc 4. Carlos Santana does precisely what
one expects from him; he does it well, of
course, but it is almost painfully predictable.
Phil Upchurch reduces the blues to background
music. Eric Gale’s ‘Thumper’ is machine-made
music, in which Gale, who can really play
his instrument, has little real scope to express
himself. Lee Ritenour and Al Di Meola show
off their techniques; the track featuring
Larry Carlton is a good example of the formulaic
music of the The Crusaders.
For those whose interest
is in what one might call the central traditions
of jazz, this anthology rather peters out
into offshoot and parallel musics; those musics
are not, of course, entirely without their
interest, but they are surely governed by
different aesthetics than jazz. But for at
least two and a half discs contains a wealth
of fine and interesting jazz. And the whole
is certainly though-provoking and (for the
most part) engaging.
This is a lavishly produced
collection in a DVD size box. It comes with
a book of almost 150 pages which contains
full recording details, an extensive commentary
on the music, quotes by guitarists on other
guitarists, lots of photographs, and a fascinating
selection of solo transcripts and analyses.
Though I have reservations
about much of the music in the later stages
of this – insofar as it claims to be representing
one hundred years of Jazz guitar, I
have no hesitation in recommending it warmly.
Its four discs are very generously filled
(see the playing times) and anybody with any
interest in jazz will find much to enjoy and
admire. And most will, like me, learn things
from the accompanying book.
Gerard Hoffnung CDs
Donate and get a free CD
Follow us on Twitter