Ella Fitzgerald and guitarist Joe Pass teamed up in a set of duets for this album which has been reissued on CD. Because the emphasis is on ballads and not all of the songs are that well suited to Fitzgerald's musical personality (particularly "Lush Life" and "I Want to Talk About You"), this set is only a mixed success. Much more successful are "Don't Be That Way" and "A Foggy Day" but this is not one of the more essential Ella Fitzgerald records.
Joe Pass was without peer as a jazz guitarist during the last two decades of his life; this is one of many expected posthumous releases to emerge since his death. Because Pass concentrated primarily on solo and small-group recording sessions, it is a treat to hear him backed by larger ensembles like the NDR Big Band and Radio Philharmonic. The arrangements are respectful of the star and unobtrusive, with show tunes ("On a Clear Day"), standards ("Soft Winds"), and originals like his upbeat "Waltz for Django." The only person who might be dissatisfied with this CD would have been Joe himself, who was extremely well known for criticizing nearly every recording he ever released.
Virtuoso guitarist Joe Pass didn't need sidemen on any recording, but when he used them, he chose wisely. Tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson, keyboardist Gerald Wiggins and drummer Tootle Heath had not recorded with Pass previously, but along with bassist Andy Simpkins, they achieve a perfect first-take sound on each track. The title cut features Pass with Johnson's bluesy sax and a soft organ and brushed background. Two Pass originals are lengthy blues vehicles with plenty of solo space for all. "I Remember You" is an unlikely choice that developed from Wiggins' jamming in the studio; the ballad is a relaxing detour from the blues that dominate the CD. Joe Pass was without peer on guitar the last 20 years of his life; his playing here won't disappoint.
A significant recording, as this is Joe Pass' debut on vinyl. It was recorded while Pass was still a patient at the Synanon Drug Center in California. Made with fellow patients, Pass proved to be a star. It is interesting to note that Pass played an electric solid-body rock guitar, as he did not even own a guitar at this time. His legendary chops are especially evident on "Projections" and "Hang Tough," featuring some of his cleanest playing ever recorded. His accompanists prove to be adequate, but hardly approach the genius of Pass. A landmark recording in the history of jazz guitar.
Joe Pass, Catch Me. One of the greatest jazz guitar albums of all time, Catch me captures guitar legend Joe Pass, with pianist Clare Fischer. The two were a match made in heaven. Mostly, this album just has Joe Pass and crew swinging standards, but they make them sound so fresh and new. The beautiful rendition of Catch Me, is so vibrant, bright, and melodic. Pass plays great at those up-tempo tunes. The group swings down home on Summertime. Pass struts his blues side of him on this one, and the outcome is tremendous.
The Trio is a 1973 live album by Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. At the Grammy Awards of 1975, The Trio won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance by a Group. In his Allmusic review, critic Scott Yanow complimented the playing of Pass and Pedersen, but wrote "the reason to acquire this set is for the remarkable Oscar Peterson. The pianist brilliantly investigates several jazz styles… Peterson really flourished during his years with Norman Granz's Pablo label, and this was one of his finest recordings of the period."
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.