Joe Pass became famous with his unaccompanied guitar showcase on Virtuoso, the beginning of a very notable series. However, this double CD (a reissue of a 1983 double LP plus three new performances) actually preceded the first Virtuoso by a month and differed in that Pass exclusively chose to play acoustic guitar, rather than electric. The relatively little-known set finds the guitarist sounding very much like a self-sufficient orchestra, and although his tone is necessarily softer on acoustic than electric, he swings hard on the uptempo pieces. Among the many highlights are "Indian Summer," "My Shining Hour," "I'll Remember April" and "Limehouse Blues."
Solo guitar by Joe Pass – a beautiful little album that's a perfect showcase for the new sensitivity in his music during his years at Pablo records! The Joe Pass heard here is light years away from the guitar player who made a few gimmicky records a decade before – and this album has Joe coming across with a gentle, but sophisticated approach to his instrument that we never would have expected in the past!
Virtuoso No. 2, the second of Joe Pass' solo guitar albums for Pablo, finds the remarkable Pass exploring more recent standards than one might expect. In addition to a few warhorses, there is also "Feelings" (which he somehow manages to make tolerable), "If," two Chick Corea songs ("Five Hundred Miles High" and "Windows") and even "Giant Steps." Pass' mastery of the guitar is obvious throughout this enjoyable set.
An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series.