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  1. #1

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    Though I love Joe, Wes, Barney, Kenny and the many of the other jazz string elite...I find myself often wishing that I could listen to some of the masters just playing chord melody, with really interesting progressions, without the adventurous solos. Ted Greene most closely fits the bill, for me, but has a limited body of work. Johnny Smith and GVE get close. Herb and Jim Hall are heroes and I love what Ellis did with Oscar but a lot of his recordings are so obscured that I find myself wishing the engineer pushed his fader up a bit more. What suggestions would you guys make for some listening sessions that would maybe scratch this itch? Modern or vintage.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    John Stowell, Ed Bickert, Tim Lerch, Lenny Breau. Some very fine players who, I'd say, are very unique and more chord oriented than others.
    Last edited by arielcee; 10-12-2019 at 03:39 AM.

  4. #3

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    Just a personal statement, but when it comes to chords, nobody comes close to Barney.

    Cheers.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  5. #4

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    Hank Garland sticks to pretty straightforward chord melody here:



    Tony Motolla has many records of unembellished chord melody playing. I love Barney's solos chord melody playing, especially his atmospheric use of open string voicing ...






  6. #5

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    Chris Whiteman has some very nice solo guitar stuff on his channel:

    Chris Whiteman
    - YouTube

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Chris Whiteman has some very nice solo guitar stuff on his channel:

    Chris Whiteman
    - YouTube
    I’ve watched, and really like, many of the vids that Chris has on YouTube. Very tasteful stuff.

  8. #7

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    [QUOTE=Esport;982631] ...I find myself often wishing that I could listen to some of the masters just playing chord melody, with really interesting progressions, without the adventurous solos./QUOTE]

    One way to do this is to listen to great jazz guitarists accompanying singers. Kessel with Julie London, Herb (and also Joe) with Ella.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #8

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  10. #9

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    Howard Alden Gene Bertoncini Earl Klugh Pasquale Grasso Francesco Buzzurro
    Last edited by John A.; 10-12-2019 at 11:41 AM.

  11. #10

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    Royce Campbell, who doesn't get much exposure on this forum, has a couple of albums that focus on chord-melody solo playing, and all his playing includes a lot of beautiful chord work. Here are some of his CDs that feature solo guitar. The one's emphasizing Mancini are noteworthy because Royce played in Mancini's orchestra for 20+ years.1983 LP "Solo Guitar" released on Redbud Records2007 CD “A Solo Guitar Christmas” released on Moon Cycle Records2008 CD “The Art of Chord Solo Guitar” released on Moon Cycle Records2009 CD “Solo Wes: A Solo Guitar Tribute to Wes Montgomery” released on Moon Cycle Records2009 CD “Solo Mancini: A Solo Guitar Tribute to Henry Mancini” released on Moon Cycle Records2010 CD “Solo Trane: A Solo Guitar Tribute to John Coltrane” released on Moon Cycle RecordsHere is his website:Home
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  12. #11

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    Matt Munisteri, Kenny Burrell, Russell Malone, Peter Sprague, Frank Vignola, Luiz Bonfa, Whit Smith, tbc ......

  13. #12

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    Emanuel Sonka recently posted some nice solo stuff on the forum.

    Emanuel Sonka
    - YouTube

  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Maybe something in this style?

    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  16. #15

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    check out Tony Matolla or Earl Klugh.
    I play a lot of atonal jazz.. . . . . . . .but not on purpose.
    Sundogg.

  17. #16
    Great recommendations, guys. I’m really liking some of these.

  18. #17

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    And of course our very own Jonathan Stout:


  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    Matt Munisteri, Kenny Burrell, Russell Malone, Peter Sprague, Frank Vignola, Luiz Bonfa, Whit Smith, tbc ......
    Speaking of Frank Vignola, he teaches at least one chord melody tune a month on his TrueFire Jazz Channel. (It used to be only $5 a month, and that's what I still pay, but it may be $10 now for new subcribers. WELL worth the money.)

    Some are fairly simple ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore") while others get a bit hairy ("Joy Spring") They're always tasty, playable, and something you can use as a springboard to your own experimentation. Frank's a great teacher as well as a great player.

    Here's a pass at "If I Had You" at practice tempo.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #19

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    Bucky Pizzarelli.

  21. #20

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    I'm on something of a Ted Greene kick right now myself. You may have already explored the TedGreene.com website, but just in case you haven't, there's lot of transcribed arrangements of tunes that didn't make it on his one studio album.

    Gene Bertoncini has been mentioned, and this may also be common knowledge, but his playing, while superficially very different from Greene's, has some things in common with Greene's. I see both of them attracted to singers' repertoire...Bertoncini has a solo arrangement of 'Nessun Dorma', for example, and 'How Are Things In Glocca Morra'. These remind me of Greene playing 'Send in the Clowns' and 'Old Man River'. Both are harmonically inventive and sophisticated. I've been trying some of Gene's arrangements on a solid-body electric, and they sound great. They aren't as dense as Greene's arrangements, but they sound good away from the nylon string guitar. Greene and Bertoncini also both seem in the Johnny Smith tradition (and maybe Van Eps), being less concerned with improvisation (in some of their solo work, anyway) than most jazz guitarists. The arrangment is the thing, and it's worked out and refined in advance.

    Ed Bickert has also been mentioned, as have guitar-vocalist duet albums. Bickert recorded 9 duets with Rosemary Clooney between 1983 and 1987 for Concord Records, and these make up a nice little psuedo-album when strung together in a playlist.

    Kenny Poole has a couple of solo guitar CDs that are still pretty easy to find (on CD Baby and Amazon). I don't find him to be quite as poetic as the guitarists mentioned above, but he's not just about chops. He also seemed to have a deep love of songs that sound great being sung. And he is quite a wizard in the solo guitar arena.

  22. #21

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    Not guitar, but Oliver Nelson has some gems.

  23. #22

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    Forget it, they're all flashy

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport View Post
    Though I love Joe, Wes, Barney, Kenny and the many of the other jazz string elite...I find myself often wishing that I could listen to some of the masters just playing chord melody, with really interesting progressions, without the adventurous solos. Ted Greene most closely fits the bill, for me, but has a limited body of work. Johnny Smith and GVE get close. Herb and Jim Hall are heroes and I love what Ellis did with Oscar but a lot of his recordings are so obscured that I find myself wishing the engineer pushed his fader up a bit more. What suggestions would you guys make for some listening sessions that would maybe scratch this itch? Modern or vintage.
    Warren Nunes, for example.

    Here is a YouTube (Francois Leduc) channel with dozens of chord melody cherry picks, comes all with transcription, but as a listening list works well and worth to examine too.

    For starter here is a relatively less mentioned name Warren


  25. #24

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    Kenny Poole was mentioned above, I had forgotten about him. He was influenced by George Van Eps and in turn was a sort of mentor to Andy Brown. Here is an example of his playing:


  26. #25

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  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Cal Collins:

    SO. GOOD. I’d never heard of Cal before. And I love that tone!

  28. #27

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    Here are some details about that Cal Collins recording, which I found in the description from another YouTube track from the same record:

    As of today both of Cal's solo guitar records are unfortunately out of print. This recording is from the 1979 release "By Myself". Cal played a guitar made by Bob Benedetto for the session. The guitar was recorded "electric" via the mounted pickup but also "acoustic" with a microphone. Incredible tone. Original Release on Concord Jazz (CJ-119).


    I guess it’s possible this might be the guitar in question:

    Cal Collins (1933 - 2001) | Benedetto Guitars


  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    Matt Munisteri, Kenny Burrell, Russell Malone, Peter Sprague, Frank Vignola, Luiz Bonfa, Whit Smith, tbc ......
    Ah, yeah -- Matt Munisteri! Superb player. I'm working with some of his Peghead Nation lessons.

    Bonfa, right here, a new video posted this morning by Josh Turner, normally a folkie, classic rock, bluegrass, James Taylor kinda player, but he's a schooled musician & can play anything -- GUYS: subscribe to his channel!