Tag Archives: recommended

Recommended Jazz Guitar Listening – part 3 – the 70’s

It’s been a little while, but I want to continue with my recommended listening list for my students and anyone new to jazz. Again, this is just my perspective on it and I may have left some guitarists off that aren’t on my favorites list. But I encourage everyone to explore on their own and come up with your own conclusions. If you missed my prior posts, you can find them here.

In the seventies we continued to see the influence of psychedelic rock and the sound innovations of Jimi Hendrix, resulting in jazz fusion. Out of Miles Davis’ bands, guitarists like John McLaughlin and Sonny Sharrock went in vastly different directions. In the straight ahead scene, Joe Pass made strides in solo guitar. And after heavily chops oriented music like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever became the norm, the ECM style emerged which emphasized a calmer, more meditative aesthetic. Here’s a sampling:

Joe Pass

John McLaughlin

Sonny Sharrock

Ralph Towner

John Abercrombie

Pat Metheny

A few guys from the 70’s who I think were influential to other guitarists from that era but don’t have YouTube clips of their playing in the 70’s (correct me if I’m wrong):

Sam Brown

Mick Goodrick


Next up; the 80’s.


Recommended Jazz Guitar Listening – part 2

As promised, and in a surprisingly timely fashion, here’s part 2 of my recommended listening list. This one’s going to focus on the 60’s, a decade where the role of the guitar started to diversify. Again, the names are links to the artist’s wikipedia entry.

My main motivation for putting this list together is to inspire guitarists who are just getting into jazz and want to know a bit more about the history. I would like to mention to you guitar guys, that guitar is just a small part of jazz history and you can only benefit from checking out all the greats, regardless of what instrument they play. Maybe a future post will go into more depth. So with that in mind…

Wes Montgomery

Kenny Burrell

Grant Green

Jim Hall (again!)

George Benson

…and a precursor to what’s about to happen in the 70’s:

Larry Coryell

John McLaughlin

Ok, that’s it for now. Next up, the 70’s!

Recommended Jazz Guitar Listening – part 1

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now… A common question that students who are just getting into jazz ask is “who do I check out?” I usually just say, “Jim Hall!” but here’s a historical overview that I put together that’s a bit more comprehensive. This is just the way I see it. There’s certainly a lot more guys to check out so keep looking and listening! Clicking on the names will take you to their wiki or webpage.


Way back at the beginning (30’s and 40’s)

Django Reinhardt

Charlie Christian

From the 50’s

Barney Kessel

Tal Farlow

Jimmy Raney

Jim Hall

I might have to put a separate post together with a bunch of my favorite Jim Hall clips since his innovations spanned a number of decades and there’s so much great stuff! But here’s one of my favorites that displays how different his playing was compared to other guys in the 50’s.

In the next post … the 60’s and 70’s!