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Progressions: 100 Years Of Jazz Guitar Box set

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, January 16, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

This 4-CD, 75-track overview of the history of jazz guitar draws on *over 30 labels* in putting together the definitive six-string set and tops it off with a 148-page book. The box covers all styles and eras, featuring tracks by Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Les Paul, Eddie Lang, Eddie Condon, Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, George Benson, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny and John Scofield (one of the producers of this set). If you or someone you know is a jazz guitar fan, listening to this set is like being a kid in a candy store!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 16, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 16, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 311 minutes
  • ASIN: B000AP2Z62
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,053 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Seigle on January 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In listening to the first selections on the Disc 1, I started to ask myself, "What's jazz?" Well, to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I hear it. And there are several selections in this anthology that I just can't call jazz. Good selections. Historically significant selections. Selections with hot guitar playing. But not jazz.

I am an amateur jazz guitarist, but certainly not the most scholarly or knowledgable about the history of jazz guitar. But I know that by any stretch, banjo music from 1906 is not jazz guitar. I also know that Jimi Hendrix playing Manic Depression is not jazz guitar. Jimi was the greatest, but his fame was basically inventing modern rock guitar. His most obvious influences were blues. There may have been some jazz influence, but it isn't evident in this selection. Similarly, I am still trying to figure out why Chet Atkins and Carlos Santana are here. These guys are the greatest, but they're not jazz. Another tune sounds like early aimless experimental overfuzzed guitar (also non-jazz) music--and I was shocked to check the notes and find out it was recorded in the late 90's.

After I pondered the "what is jazz" question, I tried to figure out what the producers were trying to do with this collection. I didn't necessarily expect the best known selections from each guitarist; I think a "best of the best" would be tiresome. But I couldn't identify any other theme holding this thing together. Illustrate the progression of jazz guitar? Well, the selections are not always chronological--a Barney Kessel recording from 1957 is followed five tunes later by Chet Atkins in 1951. A selection by Derek Baily from 1996 is followed by the Hendrix tune from 1966. There seems to be no particular pattern or grouping.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of the jazz guitar since elementary school, and I own a fairly substantial collection that spans several decades. When I first learned of this new release I was very excited.I purchased my copy thru' amazon - almost purchased 4 additional copies for holiday gifts, but the wife stopped me- and started listening to it the moment it arrived.

I was impressed with the packaging as well as the layout/background information on the featured players. I was however extremely dissatisfied with the selections. I do not know what the inclusion criteria are for the works that were featured, but almost all the guitarists featured had more wellknown , and in my opinion, better work than that which was highlighted. Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Phil Upchurch - all these guys had way better stuff that could have been included.Maybe the featured work appeals to Jazz musicians or aficinados, but for a regular listener/customer it falls short.
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Format: Audio CD
A monumental work, this four-CD box set celebrates the evolution of jazz from the perspective of our favorite instrument. Featuring representative cuts from 75 pivotal players, 100 Years of Jazz Guitar offers selections from the dawn of recorded music (originally captured on Edison cylinders) extending to the present day. The adventure begins with a harp-guitarist strumming in 1906 and stretches to Bill Frisell's "Ron Carter," released in 2001. Relatively unsung giants, such as Lonnie Johnson, Roy Smeck, and Eddie Condon rub shoulders with the likes of Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery, and Pat Metheny. The scope is enormous -- shifting from Sol Hoopii's bouncy lap slide to Marc Ribot's skronky sonics is a mind-bender -- but that's what makes this collection so valuable. We hear the entire spectrum of jazz guitar, from swing to bebop to funk to avant-garde. There's plenty to read, as well: John Scofield penned the collection's intro (he also appears musically), there's a bio for every player, and 25 of the included guitarists reveal who they find inspiring and why. "Essential" is an overused word, but in this case, it's wonderfully appropriate.
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Format: Audio CD
Everyone will find something of their own here, be it pre-Charlie Christian or late period Miles. My own contribution (as a reviewer) is to commend the compilers for a keen sense of history. Instead of simply falling into the listmania cliche of "the 100 best X" they have chosen players according to a wide variety of criteria. Two that JUMP out here are: (1) how INFLUENTIAL a guitarist has been regardless of record sales or fame; (2) how HISTORICALLY or MUSICALLY significant a given recording has been. In the first category I note the recognition of Lenny Breau and Sonny Sharrock who are far from household naems. In the second category I note the inclusion of tracks that point to landmarks in the evolution of music and jazz guitar : Birds of Fire, June 15 from Duster (Burton/Coryell), Bright Size Life. This box set will delight you if you are a well-seasoned jazz enthusiast or coming to the genre for the first time. A fantastic value!!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I imagine it's pretty hard to please hard-core fans of jazz guitar, but for the rest of us, I cannot imagine a better packaged, more thoughtful and musically sound collection. It really does trace the evolution of "jazz guitar" and tells quite a story through the actual music and fine, fine booklet. The booklet not only gives credit to all the musicians on each and every cut, it gives us brief bios on each of the artists featured and commentary by contemporary musicians (mostly guitarists). When undertaking such a project as this, there is always plenty of room for criticism. But, in fact, there is no other collection that I am aware of that even attempts to tell the history of jazz guitar in this way. And this way, four CDs chock full of great music that spans (almost) 100 years with a very thoughtful, attractive and insightful book, is really hard to criticize. If you are interested in how jazz guitar evolved over the last century, or if you just like exploring good music, this box is essential. Any time you can be well-educated and well-entertained simultaneously, well, to me that is time very well-spent. Absolutely a well-deserved 5 stars.
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