Joe Pass was a true virtuoso when it came to solo ‘Fingerstyle’ jazz guitar.
Of special interest was his ability to improvise in this style.
A real genius was revealed as he simultaneously played all the elements of a jazz or blues improvisation: melody, rhythm, chord harmonies, bass lines and rapid-fire improvised passages; all presented with an impeccable sense of taste and style.
There is a book still available entitled ‘Joe Pass: Virtuoso #3’, which is a collection of his improvised solos (transcribed by Alan de Mause).
There is also a CD recording available of all the pieces in the book. Aside from the initial themes of each tune, all of the playing is improvised.
Together, the book and CD provide some special insights into this very demanding musical form: solo Fingerstyle guitar improvisation.
There is a very nice DVD available entitled ‘The Genius of Joe Pass’. This DVD showcases Joe Pass at his finest. Starting with his ‘Synanon Quartet’ we see the beginnings of Joe’s career and the emergence of his solo work. There is bonus footage of a full performance he did in the months just before his passing.
In amongst these performances are snippets of interviews captured over the years that give a great insight into his progression as a musician.