The Best of Joe Pass
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The first solo piece on this album is high-energy "How High the Moon". If you're a guitar buff, you will be amazed at this song. His linear melody is never lost, even when he is fretting entire chords. It's impossible to believe that there are not two guitars, or an overdub going on here, but it's all Pass in one take. He then mellows out with the soft and sweet "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?". "Que Que Ha!" gives you a feel of what Pass can do in a band situation, and he does play well with others. He fits right in with the band for this Brazilian sounding tune. The album closes with "On Green Dolphin Street", a very strong tune that will leave you wondering how he keeps his fingers from becoming tangled.
The nice thing about "Best of" albums is getting a wide range of music of the artist's career without having to buy all the albums at once. This is no exception as there are only two songs that came from the same album here. This way you can hear Pass' solo work and get a taste of him playing with others. He is truly one of jazz greats.
This CD is a collection of selections from other albums that guitar virtuoso Joe Pass recorded over the years. What one person considers "best of" may be very different from what another person considers "best of". The cuts on this album, presented in order, are:
1.) A FOXY CHICK AND A COOL CAT.
2.) HOW HIGH THE MOON.
3.) WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?
4.) QUE QUE HA!
6.) BLUES FOR ALICAN.
7.) SATIN DOLL.
8.) ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET.
The sound quality varies from one cut to the next, including a little acoustic feedback, but they are all acceptable. Joe plays a number of different types of guitar on this album, including electric guitar, gut string guitar (acoustic), and what the liner notes refer to as an acoustic guitar, but it sounds like an amplified acoustic guitar. I was hoping for better than what is presented on this CD. I certainly remember better performances from Joe Pass on the old LP's that I used to listen to. This is not the best of Joe Pass. This album contains some covers of jazz standards and other tunes, and leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, why only eight songs and about 40 minutes of music? Other CD's hold an hour or more of music.
Jazz standards will always sell, no matter who plays them, how well they are played, or what instruments they are played on. They would probably get rave reviews even if they were performed on a kazoo. Since Joe Pass died back in 1994, it's been repackage whatever you can find and sell it to make an extra buck. If you want some better albums, on Amazon you can buy "The Trio" album, with Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, and Niels-Henning Pedersen, that won a Grammy Award in 1975.Read more ›
This CD is one such sampling. It is an essential collection of some of Pass's best works, and provides both a new and seasoned listener of Joe Pass and jazz music in general with a treat for the ears. For those bored with the "smooth" or trendy genre jazz formats that tend to dominate the airwaves these days, "The Best of Joe Pass" is a set of classics that sound amazingly fresh and new.
God I hate these universal statements when it comes to jazz musicians. This recording is a "must" if one is to understand Joe Pass, but also leaves out a lot of his combo playing. Some of his best stuff was played at the Concord Jazz Festival in 1972 which served to kick off the Concord label and make it probably the greatest jazz label in the business. The personnel are Joe & Herb Ellis on guitar, the great Ray Brown on bass and Jake Hanna on drums. The music was "fun" and entertaining. What this album does is to leave out all the jazz combo settings in which Joe has played.
This is the first time I have ever given Joe less than a five, but as a compilation, it leaves out just too much of what Joe had to say on guitar.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a huge Joe Pass fan from the beginning since I had first heard his virtuoso playing. I have only seen him play live once of course many years ago when Herb Ellis and... Read morePublished on July 14, 2008 by RWM
'The Best of Joe Pass: Pacific Jazz Years' is a piquant assortment of some of Mr. Pass's formidable playing as presented in more standard-length instrumental songs (songs averaging... Read morePublished on April 22, 2002
I know this is a lofty claim, but I believe Joe's construction of songs surpasses that of those before and after him, and this album demonstrates this completely. Read morePublished on June 11, 2000 by joel rudnick
I agree w/the previous review. I was blown away by this CD the first time I heard it and I've about worn out my copy on tape. Read morePublished on January 14, 2000 by Schrammy