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Joe Pass

Joe Pass did the near-impossible. He was able to play up-tempo versions of bop tunes such as "Cherokee" and "How High the Moon" unaccompanied on the guitar. Unlike Stanley Jordan, Pass used conventional (but superb) technique, and his Virtuoso series on Pablo still sounds remarkable decades later.

Joe Pass had a false start in his career. He played in a few swing bands (including Tony Pastor's) before graduating from high school, and was with Charlie Barnet for a time in 1947. But after serving in the military, Pass became a drug addict, serving time in prison and essentially wasting a decade. He emerged in 1962 with a record cut at Synanon, made a bit of a stir with his For Django set, recorded several other albums for Pacific Jazz and World Pacific, and performed with Gerald Wilson, Les McCann, George Shearing, and Benny Goodman (1973).

However, in general Pass maintained a low profile in Los Angeles until he was signed by Norman Granz to his Pablo label. 1973's Virtuoso made him a star and he recorded very prolifically for Pablo, unaccompanied, with small groups, on duo albums with Ella Fitzgerald, and with such masters as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, and Dizzy Gillespie. Pass remained very active up until his death from cancer. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Capitol Vaults Jazz Series

Disc 1

1. Catch Me (Forward Pass)

2. Days Of Wine And Roses

3. You Stepped Out Of A Dream

4. But Beautiful

5. Mood Indigo

6. It's All Right With Me

7. Deep Purple

8. Tangerine

9. There Will Never Be Another You

10. Bags' Groove

11. There Is No Greater Love

12. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

13. No Cover, No Minimum

14. Just Friends

15. Walkin' Up

16. Peri's Scope

17. Catch Me

18. Summertime

19. Falling In Love With Love

Disc 2

1. On Time

2. Yours Is My Heart Alone

3. This For Doug

4. Fondue

5. Bernie's Tune

6. Maichen

7. It Could Happen To You

8. You're Driving Me Crazy

9. So What

10. The Other Way

11. Free At Pass...Thank God Almighty...Free At Pass

12. These Foolish Things

13. Joe's Tune (Samba)

14. Stragler

15. Simon Potter

16. Catch Up (Forward Pass)

Disc 3

1. Back At The Chicken Shack

2. Sack Of Woe

3. Groove Yard

4. Groove Yard (Alternate Take)

5. Sonnymoon For Two

6. Shiny Stockings

7. Sermonette

8. Bags' Groove

9. Sister Sadie

10. Li'l Darlin'

11. Work Song

12. Blue 'N Boogie

13. Charade

14. Call Me Irresponsible

15. How The West Was Won

16. Wives And Lovers

17. Sunday In New York

18. Love With The Proper Stranger

19. Love Theme Of Tom Jones

20. Manha De Carnaval

21. Lawrence Of Arabia

22. Fall Of Love

23. It Had Better Be Tonight

24. More

Disc 4

1. I Believe In You

2. It's A Wonderful World

3. Hello Dolly

4. Summer Night

5. The Sweetest Sounds

6. Jambalaya

7. Cold Cold Heart

8. You Win Again

9. Hey Good Lookin'

10. Django

11. Rosetta

12. Nuages

13. For Django

14. Night And Day

15. Fleur D'Ennui

16. Insensiblement

17. Cavalerie

18. Django's Castle (Manoir De Mes Reves)

19. Limehouse Blues

20. Georgia On My Mind

21. Rosetta (Alternate Take)

22. Limehouse Blues (Alternate Take)

Disc 5

1. Joy Spring (Live)

2. Some Time Ago (Live)

3. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (Live)

4. Relaxin' At Camarillo (Live)

5. There Is No Greater Love (Live)

6. Bags' Groove (Live)

7. Some Time Ago (Live)

8. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (Live)

9. There Is No Greater Love (Live)

x

Track List: Meditation

1. Meditation

2. Shadow Waltz

3. Mood Indigo

4. More Than You Know

5. When Your Lover Has Gone

6. Everything Happens To Me

7. It's All Right With Me

8. I'll Never Be The Same

9. You Stepped Out Of A Dream

10. All The Things You Are

11. How Deep Is The Ocean?

12. They Can't Take That Away From Me

x

Track List: Blues Dues

1. Wave (Live)

2. Blues In "G" (Live)

3. All The Things You Are (Live)

4. 'Round Midnight (Live)

5. Here's That Rainy Day (Live)

6. Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Lady Melange (Live)

7. Blues Dues (Live)

8. Bluesette (Live)

9. Honeysuckle Rose (Live)

x

Track List: Unforgettable

1. My Romance

2. The Very Thought Of You

3. I Cover The Waterfront

4. Isn't It Romantic?

5. Walkin' My Baby Back Home

6. Autumn Leaves

7. 'Round Midnight

8. I Should Care

9. Unforgettable

10. Don't Worry 'Bout Me

11. Spring Is Here

12. Moonlight In Vermont

13. April In Paris

14. Stardust

15. You'll Never Know

16. After You've Gone

17. I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me

x

Track List: My Song

1. Rockin' In Rhythm

2. Azure

3. Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now

4. Ah Moore

5. I Can't Kick

6. Rockin' Chair

7. Song For Ellen

8. Jitterbug Waltz

9. The Duke

10. Jo-Wes

11. Ain't Misbehavin'

x

Track List: Blues For Fred

x

Track List: The Best Of Joe Pass

1. A Foxy Chick And A Coolcat

2. How High The Moon

3. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

4. Que Que Ha?

5. Summertime

6. Blues For Alican

7. Satin Doll

8. On Green Dolphin Street

x

Track List: Ira, George And Joe

1. Bidin' My Time

2. How Long Has This Been Going On

3. Soon

4. Oh Lady Be Good

5. But Not For Me

6. A Foggy Day

7. It Ain't Necessarily So

8. Love Is Here To Stay

9. 'S Wonderful

10. Nice Work If You Can Get It

11. Embraceable You

x

Track List: I Remember Charlie Parker

1. Just Friends

2. Easy To Love

3. Summertime

4. April In Paris

5. Everything Happens To Me

6. Laura

7. They Can't Take That Away From Me

8. I Didn't Know What Time It Was

9. If I Should Lose You

10. Out Of Nowhere (Concept I)

11. Out Of Nowhere (Concept II)

x

Track List: Virtuoso No. 3

1. Offbeat

2. Trinidad

3. Nina's Blues

4. Sevenths

5. Ninths

6. Dissonance No. 1

7. Minor Detail

8. Paco De Lucia

9. Sultry

10. Passanova

11. Pasta Blues

12. Dissonance No. 2

x

Track List: Virtuoso #2

1. Giant Steps

2. Five Hundred Miles High

3. Groove Yard

4. Misty

5. Joy Spring

6. Blues For O.P.

7. On Green Dolphin Street

8. Windows

9. Blues For Basie

10. Feelings

11. If

12. Limehouse Blues

x

Track List: Virtuoso (OJC Remaster)

1. Night And Day

2. Stella By Starlight

3. Here's That Rainy Day

4. My Old Flame

5. How High The Moon

6. Cherokee

7. Sweet Lorraine

8. Have You Met Miss Jones?

9. 'Round Midnight

10. All The Things You Are

11. Blues For Alican

12. The Song Is You

x

Track List: Simplicity

1. You And Me

2. 'Tis Autumn

3. Luciana

4. I Had The Craziest Dream

5. Nobody Else But Me

6. Simplicity

7. The Sands Of Time

8. Sometime Ago

9. The Gentle Rain

10. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)

11. Where Was I (Donde Estuve Yo) (Where Was I)

x

Track List: A Sign Of The Times

1. A Sign Of The Times

2. The Phoenix Love Theme (Senza Fine)

3. Nowhere Man

4. Dindi

5. A Summer Song

6. Moment To Moment

7. It Was A Very Good Year

8. Are You There (With Another Girl)

9. What Now My Love (Et Maintenant)

10. Softly As I Leave You

11. Sweet September

x

Track List: Plays The Music Of Django Reinhardt

1. Insensiblement

2. Fleur D'ennui

3. For Django

4. Cavalerie

5. Nuages

6. Rosetta

7. Limehouse Blues

8. Night And Day

9. Django

10. Django's Castle

Comments

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Has anyone noticed that on the Blues for Fred album, the J from Joe Pass is clipped? Minor detail, lol...
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rommycz
blueflame2 is right, you can compliment Joe Pass (which you should) without denigrating Stanley Jordan. They can each exist in our musical universe.
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My father met Joe Pass in Texas while they both served time for drugs.
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U actually met joe pass? That would be a dream
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Boy; doesn't Joe do justice with a beautiful performance of this lovely tune...!!!! (Such a gift!)
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Got to jam with Joe one night, probably been about 40 years ago now, but it was an honor and a pleasure. Such a soulful person.
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slap a da bass
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fackin smoooth bubs
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nioccee
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carolbeelynx
nice
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Joe was Unique & Outstanding. . . T h e only other guitarist in his league was Johnnie Smith...
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jmitchell767
Joe Pass is simply remarkable. His ear, timing and fingering are impeccable. He is the master by which all other guitar players can gauge their skill.
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you have started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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Joe Walsh
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To the Commentator: Comparing Joe Pass to Stanley Jordan in order to disparage Stanley Jordan is like comparing an Orange to a Water Melon. They are both wonderful and superb fruits. Joe Pass is a genius. Stanley Jordan is a genius. Leave the other outside because it smells..
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Perfection. I love the Joe Pass Holiday Station here on Pandora as well.
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Pure bliss, he doesn't need anyone, it's a joy listening to him alone
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catherinemar i e 4 9
I love jazz. Especially jazz guitar
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Without a doubt, Joe Pass proved himself a great guitarist. However, although I like the music on his Virtuoso albums, it is rather pompous for a man to be a self-proclai m e d virtuoso.
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You know Joe Pass is cool when he can play April in Paris and the ash on his cigar doesn't fall off.
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natureboynik
The all time greatest guitarist and least appreciated of all time, needs a documentary or 2....
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poppa_bear49
Now that's what I'm talking about. JOE, JOE, JOE!!! Play the D%$N thing like you mean it.
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jerrybear96
Barney kessel is my big influence, but when he solos it sounds sloppy and can barley understand it.so I would have a technique from Joe soloing and that great walking bass line they both actually do.
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Admire his captivating style.
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da.dungee
I have been playing guitar for 50 years, from rock, to serious study of classical and jazz. JP has been and will always be tops in my book. Been listening to JP since early 70's. JP inspired me with his unique ability to hear and play notes and chords between composed notes and chords and his ability to play with anyone or solo and sound great. May you RIP Joe!
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joecostanza7
followed him at 14. saw him live in san diego in 77. my rock and blues buddy did a come along, first time he ever acknowledged a layer other than the rolling stones. Long live your legacy joe
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The Master! His playing is the standard against which all others are judged. I am a jazx guitarist. and stand in awe of his brilliant technique and musicality.
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williamcaubl e
I saw Joe in an upstairs room at a club along the San Diego beach highway near Encinitas or was it Del Mar, years ago. I went with some guitar playing buddies from Scripps Ranch who knew about Joe. I was amazed.

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oa.devonport
Interesting that , in an interview, George Harrison was asked Who is the best guitarist in the world? , George did not hesitate in saying Joe Pass , no question ! Hmm.....Good enough for me .
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THAT WAS AWESOME TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM WITH ONE OF THE BEST!
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bobaltig
In 1967 I sang backup vocal in a session to cut a demo record at the Loren Whitney studios in Glendale, CA. My jaw hit the floor when Joe Pass walked into the studio to play the gig. It was an experience of a lifetime.
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Phrasing Master, melodic & tasteful, uncle Joe....
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Just listened to Summertime off of Remembering Charlie Parker. Made me stop to listen, just listen.
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I think Pass worked the instrument to its full musical capabilities more than any other jazz guitarist. Always amazing, always just right.
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From Joe Pass to Lenny Brough to Chuck Wright. Thank you all. It was an honor to be able to listen to such talent. RIP......
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oscar.islas8 1 8
a true master.
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LOVE JOE PASS
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before i looked up to see that it was joe pass i thought it was les paul, but both are great
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841942547
Steve Carey

I am so amazed when I hear Joe Pass play. His chord melodies are so unique that I don't have to look to see who is playing. He just has a style and groove like no other.
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ronald.annet t e
Saw JP in the early 80's at 'On Broadway' in Massapequa,N Y . I have recordings of the shows I'll cherish them forever.
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parallax58
An amazing talent, graceful, clear, light and complete in everything he ever recorded. Too late to the table and too soon lost. He will be remembered long after lesser talents fade. I can't wait for the next edition.
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marqsonkey
One of the BEST.
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Wow! Absolutely Great!
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I saw Joe Pass, Ray Brown, and Max Roach at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago in the 70's. What a night to remember.
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frankgpotter
The VERY BEST of the best . Thank you Joe !
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am related to Joe through the Passalaqua family, so have met and heard him play many times in our home, he was a gentle, quiet, always smiling, man. Very sweet and calm, would play from the kitchen sofa just the same as in concert hall, no difference, just amazing, so ethereal, showed no effort or stress ever.
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artd1
Had the privilege of working with Joe in '79 and '80 as a rep for Polytone. What a gas to sit with him for an hour here and there and have him demo the equipment. Most folks will never make the hardware sound the same. God rest you Joe.
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bkarman
What an amazing artist. Thanks to Pandora for introducing me to him and similar artists. Pick one great one and Pandora does the rest.
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jamesbconkle
Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald together. Two of the most compassionat e and greatest voices ever.
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Joe was one of the best ever! Saw him live many times, talked to him. Very humble, gracious man. Truly an inspiration. I left a guitar pick on his grave in Piscataway, NJ.
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