View Poll Results: Favourite Guitarist

Voters
1072. You may not vote on this poll
  • John Scofield

    108 10.07%
  • Bill Frisell

    64 5.97%
  • Django Reinhardt

    139 12.97%
  • Wes Montgomery

    299 27.89%
  • Jim Hall

    139 12.97%
  • Joe Pass

    237 22.11%
  • Pat Metheny

    135 12.59%
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel

    65 6.06%
  • John Mclaughlin

    56 5.22%
  • John Abercrombie

    23 2.15%
  • Lee Ritenour

    23 2.15%
  • Pat Martino

    87 8.12%
  • Tal Farlow

    57 5.32%
  • Barney Kessel

    81 7.56%
  • Allan Holdsworth

    43 4.01%
  • George Benson

    126 11.75%
  • Grant Green

    100 9.33%
  • Jimmy Raney

    43 4.01%
  • Charlie Christian

    69 6.44%
  • Kenny Burrell

    139 12.97%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #51

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    Well, I do like Mike Stern... When he's on a roll he's really good!

    Also like Mark Whitfield. He did a couple of albums in the Wes / Benson tradition that were excellent!

    My all-time top three would be Wes, Pass & Burrell. But as a guitar player I think Wes takes the cake out of those three. Wes had that fantastic thick tone, he put a lot of expression in his playing, he definitely had the technique, but he made music. His solos really flow effortlessly, but they're never just empty vessels.

    So in short: Wes.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    In the video, you can see that Benson has a marvelous technique but very few musical ideas. Just compare with Wes solos. He used to play new and original melodies over each pair of chords. Think about it.
    KLPJAZZ

  4. #53

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    GEORGE BENSON!

  5. #54

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    I don't understand; I do understand why Benson went commercial. I had
    forgotten about an old live recording, that I'd just heard again recently, Benson did of Sonny Rollins' "Oleo". Unbelievable!!! I'd like to see him return to the jazz fold.

  6. #55

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    you would think he could now...he's made a good buck doing the contemporary thing...he must enjoy what he's doing

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Bum View Post
    Well you are intitled to your opinion but my assessment is that Ritenour's Wes Bound is a far better CD than any of Wes's. Certainly production quality had improved over time but Lee is smoother. That's my objective opinion. But then some people think anybody still living could never be as good as someone that's been dead for decades. I think jazz guitar players will just keep gettting better because the build on what has gone before them, while new guitar players haven no more inate talent than the desceased ones, they have much larger library to learn from.

    I stick by my assessment, Wes better than Wes.

    i'm not sure i like the tone of your post.

    nobody's saying that anyone living can't be as good as someone who's dead. i respect and enjoy a lot of living guitarists: metheny, sco, fris, ben monder, jimmy bruno, the pizzarelli's, i could go on and on. i get really touchy though when someone mistakes respect for the greats as some kind of staunch, jazz-politic, wynton traditionalism that snubs advancement in this music we love. that's NOT what i'm about.

    but you need to be able to respect and understand the influence of the greats. no wes montgomery, no wes bound. and the idea that ritt could do "wes better than wes" is absurd. wes was who he was. all anyone who plays just like him can ever be is a copycat. this is why i respect pat martino (also living) because his wes tribute record still showed his personality and tone, not just strings of octave one-uppmanship like you hear a lot of young guys do. he respects the influence.

    production quality has improved over time, and i'm not always sure if that's a good thing. errors are human, and when i listen to something like wes' "impressions" off smokin at the half note and hear him fall off the beat at the end of his intense solo and start chuckling, well that's human. that's also something that could (and probably would) be edited out in a studio today. productions slicker, but it doesn't make anybody a better musician.

    i actually respect ritt's playing quite a bit. i think he does lee rittenour better than anyone, hands down.

  8. #57

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    Dirk---Thanks for the great video! I especially liked his tone--a lot like Doug Raney. Do you know what kind of axe he was using? Very nice!

  9. #58

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    "you would think he could now...he's made a good buck doing the contemporary thing...he must enjoy what he's doing"


    How does one know that? I wish I could believe you. I'd really like to. When art is run by business, no one wins. It's probably best to see Benson when he's having fun. He's probably so inundated with contracts, he couldn't wouldn't if he would or could. As with most things in life, nothing or rather, anything is free. How disconcerting. I'm not one for cloned music, so maybe, real folks can change the business.

  10. #59

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    I have to agree with Mr. Beaumont but would introduce another consideration, in support of his position.

    Namely, when you take a poll of the great contemporary jazz guitarists of the last 25 years and ask them who inspired them, I guarantee that many more are going to cite Wes Montgomery than Lee Ritenouer.

    Does this mean Lee isn't a great player? Not at all. But what it means is that there is something about Wes' playing and his compositional abilities that have provided inspiration to others in ways that Lee's have not.

    For me, there is a warmth and joy that I get from listening to Wes that I don't get from other players. And when you see clips of him performing live you can feel the good vibes just emanating from him. I'm consistently amazed how someone can play with that much "cool" and make it look so "aw shucks, t'aint nothin'" effortlessness. And then you look at the transcriptions and realize that this stuff is not simple blues riffing.

    Acknowledging the almost transcendant greatness of players like Wes, Django, Joe Pass, etc. does not preclude one from holding players of a later generation in the highest esteem - Pat Martino, John McLaughlin, Jim Hall, et al.

  11. #60

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    I'm listening to his cd 'Secret Story' as I type - this guy is just sooo inventive but has one of the most beautiful touches I've ever heard! A real inspiration and the reason I'm floundering about trying to get into jazz guitar... Pete.

  12. #61

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    Django, Wes, Pass, notwithstanding, Jim Hall ranks with them. Jim Hall has
    influenced nearly every modern guitar player. I would venture to say Carlton,
    Ritenour, Metheny and the like, basically our poll list, come from the Jim Hall branch.
    Last edited by griphon ii; 04-26-2007 at 03:08 PM. Reason: basically our poll list

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by griphon ii View Post
    Django, Wes, Pass, notwithstanding, Jim Hall ranks with them. Jim Hall has
    influenced nearly every modern guitar player. I would venture to say Carlton,
    Ritenour, Metheny and the like, basically our poll list, come from the Jim Hall branch.
    When I first heard the Jimmy Giuffre song "The Train and the River", with Jim Hall on guitar, I instantly saw Jim's influence on players like Frisell, Metheny and Scofield. Obviously, there are plenty of other such signs, but this particular song really lays it out there. In fact, it gave me a much better understanding of what Frisell has been up to over the last few years, with his forays into Americana.

  14. #63

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    One glaring omission is Bireli Lagrene, which about the most technically, musically gifted guitarist out there.
    Vic Juris, Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno, Jack Wilkins are also modern masters.

  15. #64

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    Now that we've arrived at the "glaring omissions" part of the poll, let me submit the following masters of the Brazilian sound:

    Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Charlie Byrd
    Oscar Alemán

    And a couple nods of the cap to:

    Mark Ribot
    Charlie Hunter

  16. #65

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    if we're going brazillian, bola sete and laurindo almedia come to mind as wellas masters of their craft...

    as for unsung heroes, well, i gotta mention barry galbraith again. one of the classiest players of all time.

  17. #66

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    Yup, I agree with you, Barry Galbreath was a major influence on many of the current guitarists. Like Jimmy Raney, he was truly an unsung master. Also, George Van Eps was a major influence on many of the chord melody stylists of today. Listening to his recording of "Mellow Guitar" is what got me started back in the early 50's. If you have not already done so, please take time to listen to Howard Alden---excellent 7-string guitarist from Los Angeles area now based in New York.

  18. #67

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    What can I say..... Wes is still the MAN...the best.....and the only one for me.

  19. #68

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    To be honest im getting a bit worried by a bit of this :S
    Obivously players like Wes should be held in great esteem and respect, but if jazz is based around the fact that it is constantly moving forward, unlike other music, then surely the players most looked up to should be the forward thinking ones? Frisell (for example) has taken modern music, and every time he plays a tune, people learn something and consider jazz a new way; I would say that this is more important than being well known. Most modern players would cite coltrane as a better player than Ellington because he was evolving the music, whilst at the time people hated that: "the beboppers have ruined our music, jazz is dead!"
    Anyway thats my two cents, any replies will be read with interest
    This is not a link.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Bum View Post
    and he does Wes better than Wes.

    I dont think it is possible for anybody to do Wes better than the Wes himself. I am gonna have to disagree here with you Guitar Bum.
    Wes Montgomery anyone?

  21. #70

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    "A penny for your thoughts?" "Here's my two cents." Where's the penny?
    Jim Hall is one of those players. Much has come from him. Tonal and atonal.
    Great, maybe, unknown rockers have got it. Steve Morse, comes to mind.
    Played with Jaco. When one gets this good, and business runs life, who
    makes the decisions? This "is" always part of the works. The best run of
    very good tunes since the real jazz era, was roughly 70's. Everything else
    is essentially a clone. Writing "original" is a lost art. Just writing commercials
    is an impossible job to get, unless you know someone. It's easier to steal
    from someone that actually wrote something. The only way to get heard
    is to lessen your standards. I sincerely hope that changes.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanlowe View Post
    To be honest im getting a bit worried by a bit of this :S
    Obivously players like Wes should be held in great esteem and respect, but if jazz is based around the fact that it is constantly moving forward, unlike other music, then surely the players most looked up to should be the forward thinking ones? Frisell (for example) has taken modern music, and every time he plays a tune, people learn something and consider jazz a new way; I would say that this is more important than being well known. Most modern players would cite coltrane as a better player than Ellington because he was evolving the music, whilst at the time people hated that: "the beboppers have ruined our music, jazz is dead!"
    Anyway thats my two cents, any replies will be read with interest
    i wouldn't be too worried. jazz is a big music, and people find what they like in it. you really can't "blanket statement" jazz like a lot of folks do...it'd be like saying " i like rock and roll" which as a blanket statement could mean i like the rolling stones (which i do) and the eagles (which i really, really DO NOT.)

    yes, jazz has always prided itself in being a progressive, forward looking music. or has it? the standards a lot of us love to play weren't outsider music 60 years ago-- they were pop music. they're still played today, by a lot of great players. I don't fault, say, john pizzarelli, because most of his repretoire is is 70 years old-- i love it, as do i love someone like nik bartsch's ronin, whose music has little in common with traditional "jazz" at all. i myself fall somewhere in between-- i like a lot of the modern stuff, but when i pick up my guitar, often the old standards are the first thing to pour out.

    jazz is a music that moves forward, but also has a rich tradition. i'm a believer that you don't have to like all of it, but you do have to respect it's roots. some people don't move beyond the roots. now, someone like wes montgomery is as close to "mainstream" as you can get in a fringe music (i'm not even touching smooth jazz, a lot of which contains little or no improvisation and really doesn't qualify as jazz in my book) so it's only natural that he's influenced and loved by many, especially guitar players. luckily, there are guitar players like you whose ears are open to both classic and new sounds

    by the way, your ellington/trane analogy doesn't really work for me, because i never listen to duke for his playing-- but the comment you made about people saying that bebop killed jazz might be spot on-- it likely did kill jazz as a style of popular music. i think a lot of people felt the same way about free jazz, and fusion, and contemporary styles...jazz is a BIG music.

  23. #72

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    One thing very nice about the list, it has sparked some very interesting
    conversation. Also, the list has brought out new names that I am not
    familiar. An interesting aside about John Pizzarelli that I heard on PBS,
    "Wait, Wait". John was once a rocker, while dear old dad, Bucky, just
    smiled.

  24. #73

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    True about Django. I think he was very creative and fast. I think the incredible thing is how he played with 2 fingers!! That amazes me.
    Wes Montgomery anyone?

  25. #74

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    I guess why I am so adamant about Jim Hall; he changed things, POV... that pivot stuff. He actually did and does all the progressive thought well. And began long ago. Scofield, Metheny and the like come from Jim Hall. I think, Jim Hall has influenced every nowaday guitar player on the map, whether they know it or not. He's incredibly subtle. Hard to get at, at first. Metheny did an album with him. I'm a major league Zappa fan, too. Tommy Tedesco, another relatively unknown studio guy and a major league guitar reader, had trouble playing Zappa's tunes. Add Tedesco to the list...

  26. #75

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    Pat is the most versatile guitarist I have heard over the past 30 years of my jazz-listening life.

  27. #76

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    um, Where is Tuck Andress on the poll??? Since he's not here, I'm going with my man Barney Kessel.

  28. #77

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    Don't want to slate anyone who likes the guy, but I've always wondered why kenny burrell is so respected amongst jazzers? I've scoured through hours of his music but not yet found anything particularly illuminating or harmonically interesting; and to be honest it doesnt sound very soulful either; anyone be able to help me maybe I'm just not listening right at the moment?
    This is not a link.

  29. #78

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    check out "midnight blue" or my personal favorite kenny on record, a slightly hard to track down split with donald byrd called "all night long." (it's on CD, thru prestige now, i think) kenny's not gonna wow you, but he is soulful--what have you been listening to?

    if you really need to hear him burn, check out his album with john coltrane, cleverly titled--"kenny burrell and john coltrane."

  30. #79

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    though I couldn't but vote for Django, Alan Holdsworth is one of those superb players that I, just like Benson until the day he'd seen it all and started singing, can listen to every time and again. What happened to that site you mentioned,Sonic Blast ( http://www.therealallanholdsworth.com/)all I get is the iPower Web server homepage?
    Here is a YouTube solo. On the same page are over 20 more Holdsworth videos with amongst others Beelzebub from Bill Bruford's Feels Good To Me. See for yourself, wonder and enjoy.
    Last edited by Guitarian; 05-07-2007 at 07:14 PM.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanlowe View Post
    Don't want to slate anyone who likes the guy, but I've always wondered why kenny burrell is so respected amongst jazzers? I've scoured through hours of his music but not yet found anything particularly illuminating or harmonically interesting; and to be honest it doesnt sound very soulful either; anyone be able to help me maybe I'm just not listening right at the moment?
    I feel exactly that about Grant Green. Everytime I read something about him it seems so exagerated.
    I guess these guys were real professionals that above all, who did their work. They did not play to be famous, to be the best, to be outstanding, etc., although in the end they left pleasant stuff for us to listen to. Nowadays we think differently. We have raised our patterns, partly due to information society we live in. I'm not sure it is better, thou...

    joao pedro

  32. #81

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    why not Oscar Alemán?, if some of you want to hear some of his records.... let me know and I will send you the torrent file.

    Esteban.-

  33. #82

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    If I had to pick one, even though I like so many players, it would have to be John McLaughlin. What hasn't he attempted? I pick him for the way he has made his music an adventure. In spite of how great so many other guys are, I don't know of anyone in all of jazz, let alone guitar, that has explored so much in thier music.

  34. #83

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    The best jazz guitarist is an impossible title. There are so many guys that are so good, it would depent on the style, song, and day of the week.

    Lately I have been really digging on Scotty Anderson, and while not classified as "jazz player", (although he really is), this guys is such a monster that he could play with any of them, and most people don't even know who he is. If you haven't heard him look him up on YouTube or get one of his CDs. There is just no good reason for anyone to play that good, it just makes us normal people look bad.

  35. #84

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    obviously its george benson, not counting the techniques and scales since everyone in the list has superb talent...but the way george performs looks like he's in pain...the passion he brings while playing separates him from the other guys..yes joe pass is a great guitarist and deserves to be called "the genius"..but personally i would go for the power, dynamics and performance with tremendous spirit by mr. benson..

  36. #85

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    i completely agree pete will, metheny is definately my biggest inspiration his "we live here" record in particular and hes one of the most passionate players ive ever seen, theres a really deep commitment to music in there, one incredible musician

  37. #86

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    I completely stopped playing roughly 12 years ago. Burn-out. There are many
    folks with many stories about burn-out. Not this forum. I am wood-shedding
    again and the heart is returning. I, believe it or not, tend to wood-shed, country. Easier to find real work and get paid, I hope. I'm finding the business
    has really changed.

    Anyway, I keep thinking about major league session players, like Ray Flacke and Brent Mason. Brent Mason the country star today and an incredible jazzer.
    Danny Gatton needs to be on the list, a major country influence for me.
    Country players tend to play most anything and everything, some not known
    for jazz.

  38. #87

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    Sorry to be casting stones, but I think a real poll of jazz guitarists is incomplete, if not utterly meaningless, without mentioning Lenny Breau.

    He might not be the most accessible or the most interesting to all tastes, but he really is a cut above and beyond most of your elections. I wouldn't have expected him to win, but to not be mentioned is unforgivable.

    I wouldn't have minded seeing Ed Bickert in there as well, he reminds me a little of Jim Hall (my best of the rest selection) in a different kind of way.

    Shields up! Sulu, get us out of here.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    by the way, your ellington/trane analogy doesn't really work for me, because i never listen to duke for his playing-- but the comment you made about people saying that bebop killed jazz might be spot on-- it likely did kill jazz as a style of popular music. i think a lot of people felt the same way about free jazz, and fusion, and contemporary styles...jazz is a BIG music.
    I would agree that ellington and trane are apples and oranges, however I think Rock and Roll had alot to due with killing jazz as a popular music form, I don't know that I'd be so quick to blame bebop.

    Another thought would be...Thank God jazz is no longer popular music, look at what has happened to it (pop).

  40. #89

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    I may have commited a big sin here, I think I just voted for my favorite 3 guitarists. Is that possible?

  41. #90

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    I would have choosen Larry Carlton if he was in the list

  42. #91

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    I think Joe Pass is the greater guitar player plus musician at all.

    Besides, I believe every jazz guitar players have their own "touch" styling and not easy to compare with .
    Please, try to listen to Oscar Aleman (Django style). He was great enough!!!
    Walter Malosetti, Ricardo Pellican, Ricardo Lew and others from Argentina.

    Good luck everybody !!!!
    Diego

  43. #92
    I voted for Pat Metheny...I love his music, his sound, the way he play and how he mix all the ingredients to make you feel in another place...in a more relaxing place...a beautifull place...

    also i want to vote for Guthrie Govan...but he isn't here...so...Pat it's the best for me...=P

    listen to Watercolors album...and call me in the morning...

  44. #93
    Hmm, well this is my first post on the forums, and so I can't actually figure out how to click on my poll options. Django Reinhardt without question. Charlie Christian fits in there as a second for me. Hey everyone out there! Glad to be part of the community!

  45. #94

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    Hey I was just wondering what kind of guitar George Benson is playing on the Take5 video. Great vid by the way, even though I voted for Wes!

  46. #95

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    Where's Mike Stern???????? if he's good enough for Miles Davis, he's good enough for your poll!

  47. #96

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    If possible, Bill Frisell really seems to be almost at the 'country' side of jazz playing. It's a bit like he took creatively where Les Paul stopped years ago (even thought he still plays).

    An enjoyably unique style of playing IMHO.
    ...practice is fun

  48. #97

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    i love the sound of jim hall,the first time i heard him play some chords it was like hearing a piano.

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkji View Post
    I agree about George Benson, he swings as hell and his technique is marvelous. Check out this video of him playing Take5:

    I sure did enjoy this, Dirk. I'm also a Wes M. admirer. But this guy is right in there as far as technique is concerned and he a swinger alright! I guess I favor Wes because I like the Blues so much. I still have to dig Grant Green. Years ago when I first started listening to guitar players, Tal Farlow, etc., there were not as many fine musicians as there seems to be now or in recent years. I mean back in the 40's and 50's. I have to play this some more, it is great and thanks for for making this spot available.

  50. #99

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    hi !
    my favorite guitarist is a jazz gypsy french guitarist : Bireli Lagrene , not listed but so amazing and easy player...

  51. #100

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    Hello everyone this is my second post (first one was on the topic What are you listening right now)
    I voted Pat Martino because he's to me one of the most thrilling players ever, not only on guitar (hope thrilling means what I think I'm spanish and my english is not that great), I voted him because of his personal story, truly an example to any musician

    of course I could have voted another one (glad to see Rosenwinkel on the list)
    un saludo!