View Poll Results: Favourite Guitarist

Voters
1124. You may not vote on this poll
  • John Scofield

    113 10.05%
  • Bill Frisell

    73 6.49%
  • Django Reinhardt

    147 13.08%
  • Wes Montgomery

    318 28.29%
  • Jim Hall

    149 13.26%
  • Joe Pass

    251 22.33%
  • Pat Metheny

    144 12.81%
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel

    69 6.14%
  • John Mclaughlin

    58 5.16%
  • John Abercrombie

    25 2.22%
  • Lee Ritenour

    24 2.14%
  • Pat Martino

    94 8.36%
  • Tal Farlow

    59 5.25%
  • Barney Kessel

    85 7.56%
  • Allan Holdsworth

    47 4.18%
  • George Benson

    135 12.01%
  • Grant Green

    107 9.52%
  • Jimmy Raney

    46 4.09%
  • Charlie Christian

    75 6.67%
  • Kenny Burrell

    145 12.90%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1

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    Who's your favorite jazz guitarist?

    Sorry for any shortcomings of this poll, it is only guitarists and obviously there is more than ten around, but thats the max option.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    wow, that was a tough one. I had to pick Joe Pass. I never get tired of his records or watching his concert videos. While some of the other guys on there maybe have been flashier or whatever. Pass played with real class, something you really cant teach.
    while I do enjoy Abercrombie alot for his originality and Wes, he just had superb phrasing. sometimes I listen and I am amazed on how fresh his improv consistently sounded. I dont know if anybody has ever really emulated his playing successfully (and we all know that its been attempted)

  4. #3

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    I had to go with Wes Montgomery. He is what brought me into jazz in the first place.

    I believe you forgot Charlie Christian though. I would think he would be in the top ten jazz guitarists.

  5. #4

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    Oh, wow. This was a tough choice. I mean, whats to gauge a favorite? Is it the guy that did the most for jazz? the most unique style? prettiest tone? Really, you can make favorites but in same way or another I'm sure every one of them has changed our ideas of jazz guitar for the better. Personally I don't have a favorite Jazz guitarist. Most of my style is influenced by guys who play piano bass or horn, anyways.

    -G

  6. #5

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    I think George Benson should also have made the list. Although maybe not quite as sophisticated as the others, his record 'Giblet Gravy' has forever changed the way I think of guitar in a band context.

    Another of note: Jeff Beck. Although not strictly jazz, any of you who have heard his records "Blow by Blow" and "Wired" know that this guy's a serious musician. Very expressive, tone for days...

    -G

  7. #6

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    I had to go with Joe Pass. His "Portraits of Duke Ellington" Album blew my mind and got me into Jazz guitar. I listen to everyone on the listen and enjoy them all very much, such a hard choice ..

  8. #7

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    i'd go with jim hall out of who's posted here, but my favorites are grant green, jimmy raney, ed bickert and barry galbraith.

  9. #8

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    I, too, went with Wes Montgomery as far as jazz guitarists are concerned. He's the player I listen to the most and whose songs and style I've been focused on since I switched from rock/metal to jazz in 2005.

    However, John McLaughlin was the guitarist who first inspired me to take up the guitar in secondary school, after hearing Mahavishnu's "Dance of Maya", and I've been a huge fan of all his work ever since the mid 1970's. But I recognized early on that I simply can't play in his style, and am too influenced by the blues.

    Gabriel mentioned Jeff Beck and I agree with him. Listening to "Blow by Blow" and "Wired" showed me how to make the transition from blues rock into jazz before I began listening to Wes, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, etc. Beck still does one of my favorite versions of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (although I love McLaughlin's version on "My Goals Beyond").

    Pat Martino is another big favorite of mine, particularly his Eastern-influenced, modal work on "Baiyina (The Clear Evidence)".

  10. #9

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    Pat Martino and Tal Farlow should also be here. May be I would have chosen one of them. I think both have a great technique and musicality.

  11. #10

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    That is a tough question. So many great ones especially if you consider their style, era or even a specific geography. Maybe it is a good idea to have a list to pick from on the first pole. I selected Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. Tal Farlow is actually one of my favorites as well as Brian Hughes and Joe Negri. They are two current players from Toronto and Pittsburgh, respectively, that are awesome guitarists.

  12. #11

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    Ouch! Some of my favorites are missing from your list!

    1) Jimmy Raney (all time king of bebop guitar)
    2) Doug Raney (like his father with strong Pat Martino influence--killer chops!)
    3) Howard Roberts
    4) Howard Alden
    5) Joe Diorio
    6) etc., etc.....

  13. #12

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    The great Charlie Christian, who is always modern, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Eddie Lang, Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, ....
    We could go on and on...

    I guess the best would be to have a big list and we would choose from 1 to 5 to score.

  14. #13

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    Okay so lest pretend for a moment that the list had ALL of our favourites, then we'd end up with nobody voting for half of them! I mean whats the worth of this poll other than to get an idea for who the major influeces of the other guitarists here are? I mean the poll was going to be submitted sooner or later anyways. Thank Seanlowe for taking the initiative.

    -G

  15. #14

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    Case in point: nobody has voted for Frisell yet, and though you may like his stuff, with names like Pass and Montgomery, you wouldn't vote for the little guys, would you.

  16. #15

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    Mine are a little older.
    Al Viola (Sinatra right hand), Hank Garland (swing country jazz picker that had a very rough and short music life), Chuck Wayne, unbelievable! (Bach fugue on the spot and his students, too), a few others I can't think of at the moment. Joe Diorio... ah...
    Still Jim Hall, my favorite, at the moment, even though I've been influenced by so many; old and new and upcoming.

  17. #16

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    I chose Joe Pass from that list. Surprised that I haven't seen a mention of Larry Carlton anywhere here, seeing him at Montreaux (unfortunately on tv, rather than live but still) got me into jazz.

  18. #17

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    When Joe Pass would visit my area in the late 70's to do master seminars, Charlie Encinosa would proctor and assist Joe Pass. I studied with Charlie.
    Joe Pass IS one of my favorites. Gee, when they get that good, it's extremely
    difficult to pick. Sandy Devito, a protege of Chuck Wayne; got to study with
    him also. Unbelievable guitarists. Made me, almost, want to quit.
    I just like Carlton's style. One of the first guys that could make rock and
    roll lyrical, if that's possible. Right and wrong notes in the right place.
    I was just thinking of influences that weren't on the list. Just making the
    list, must have been tough.

  19. #18

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    Saying the list is short is an understatement. You would have a hard time keeping the list to 100 or even 500, there are just so many good jazz guitarists.

    My real favorite, if I HAD to pick one would be Lee Ritenour, because Lee can do it all from Brazillian Jazz to Big Band Swing, and he does it all well. He's not locked into a particular groove. He can rock and he's not ashamed to and he does Wes better than Wes.

    But I could add another hundred without hardly trying.

  20. #19

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    I voted for McLaughlin, but would have voted for Kenny Burrell, Mimi Fox or Larry Coryell over him if we are just talking pure enjoyment in listening for me.

  21. #20

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    I hate to be THAT guy, cuz you did admit the limits of the list...But no list of fav modern jazz guitarists can be taken seriously without inclusion of my friend and fellow Philadelphian, THE VELVET HAMMER OF PAT MARTINO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #21

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    Wow another vote for a guy who's still alive (Pat Martino), good for you. I love that Pat Martino signature Gibson, cool guitar.

  23. #22

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    My #1 fav, Kenny Burrell, isn't on the poll, but I understand the size limitation, and two other favs are on......Wes and Joe P. I voted Wes because his playing is just a bit "smokier" than JP in my book. Loved the comments about Benson's Giblet Gravy........that's a CD I love, and I like Benson a lot as well. Guess I have lots of "favs". And there is a guitarist I hadn't heard of so I will look him up and perhaps find yet another fav. Thanks, all.

  24. #23

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    Anthony Wilson...watching him play with Diana Krall is a real treat; good CD's also.

  25. #24

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    Unquestionably,

    DJANGO!


  26. #25

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    Althoug I love, CC, JP, and WM, the first most creative, intense, and technically amazing was Django.
    All the above guitarists were influence by Django early in their career, as were so many other jazz greats.
    Django may have adopted many American music styles, but he had no prior guitarist to get an influence from.

    Django blazed the trail of the modern jazz guitarist. IMHO, he should be the first in this illustrious list.

  27. #26

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    Don't really have a favorite jazz guitar player, but below is a list of the jazz guys I like...

    George Benson
    Earl Klugh
    Martin Taylor
    Tuck Andress
    Jobim
    Robben Ford (for combining different genres)

    If I have to name the guitar player that made me want to play the guitar more than anybody, that would be Eddie Van Halen. Sorry guys, I know this is jazz forum.

    -FunkyE9th

  28. #27

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    I'm thinking George Benson ranks right up there with the best of the best. Such a innovative player. Pure original genius. There are so many though that I like. Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery for example.

  29. #28

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    I just have to go with Joe Pass. I just really like he's style. It's so full of emotion. Just that feeling when he plays it....just great...

  30. #29
    hee guys,

    Have you ever heard of the great jazz-guitarist called jesse van ruller.
    he is a monk-award winner. Check "you tube" there are a couple of video's
    of these marvelous guitarist

    Grtz Jacob

  31. #30

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    And where are the non-Americans? I'd like to see René Thomas, Attila Zoller, Gabor Szabo, Marc Ducret etc. as possible choices. In the meantime, I have voted for the great Jim Hall.

  32. #31

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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.

  33. #32

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    GEORGE BENSON!

  34. #33

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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.

  35. #34

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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

  36. #35

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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.

  37. #36

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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.

  38. #37

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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

  39. #38

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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.

  40. #39

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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.

  41. #40

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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

  42. #41

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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.

  43. #42

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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.

  44. #43

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

  45. #44

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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

  46. #45

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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.

  47. #46

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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.

  48. #47

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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.

  49. #48

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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.

  50. #49

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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...

  51. #50

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