79 responses Add your response
Aside the usual suspects, here are a few recordings off the beaten path with great performances AND fine recordings.
Andy Brown - Soloist
Charlie Haden - Jim Hall (the one with two cats on the cover)
Jason Vieaux - Images of Metheny
Jason Vieaux is a classical virtuoso guitarist who recorded some solo acoustic Metheny tunes. The recording is great although the guitar sounds a little thin without volume as I believe levels were set a little low. Turn it up and its amazing.
Benson's early jazz recordings with verve, and his "Sunday Afternoon" recordings. Imaginative and technically brilliant.
Pat Martino!! Any of it, but particularly pre-accident. "Exit". DIstinctive chromatic soloing.
Joe Pass "Virtuoso" albums. Can get a little repetitive, but it's a really good trick to repeat.
Tal Farlow. Unique sound, if sometimes a little sloppy.
Among current guitarists, you might check out Freddie Bryant.
Tommy Emmanuel not exactly jazz, but if you like guitar, gotta check that out.
Lee Ritenour, Wes Bound. Amazing tribute to Wes Montgomery, top shelf production and he can really cover the Wes material, with respect and authority. Not an easy task.
Ron Affif trio, Mark Whitfield True Blue, Jimmy Bruno with Joey Defrancesco, Like That, smokin guitar with B3, one of my favorite formats. Peter Bernstein on Smoke Session Records, all the Smoke Session artists are great and all recordings are top shelf production.
If you like these I have many more to recommend, with great production, fellow guitarist here also. Enjoy.
If you're interested in newer things I'd highly recommend Julian Lage (his jazzier trios are brilliant) including his stuff with Nels Cline (the sort of recent "Nels Cline 4" is great). Bill Frisell kills me...John Scofield's "66" album is hot...I'll see any of these guys when they're around. Peter Bernstein's recent trio ("Toy Tunes") with the amazing Bill Stewart and Larry Goldings is in heavy rotation around here. I'm also a huge Joe Pass fan...saw him live once in '76. Lenny Breau (I know his brother Denny...also a great guitar player) was sort of an off the charts genius.
I too am heavily into jazz and beyond guitar. Totally agree with Viridian and Wolf. Will add John Abercrombie for some more challenging and rewarding listening and any ECM recording sounds great. Larry Coryell did some fine straight ahead records and his last Eleventh House lp is high energy and his records on Wide Hive label are rockish but very good.Pat Martino Joyous Lake and Tony Williams Lifetime with Allan Holdsworth are fusion classics. Laurindo Almeida/Charlie Byrd has a couple of great Brazilian duet records...as others said the list is long. But Emily Remler, wow, I have all her work on vinyl except her last which was CD only. What a talent and sad story. Beautiful touch, phrasing, melody, comping and composition. There is a very good website documenting her work. Leni Stern’s first couple of lps are good also and well recorded. The ECM records by Gary Burton with Mick Goodrick and Pat Metheny are recommended also. Have fun in the hunt and listening!
These are full Albums / CD's / Downloads that are exceptionally well recorded IMO. Enjoy ...
Stanley Turrentine - "Straight Ahead"
Rippingtons - " Black Diamond", "Live Across America" , "Life in the Tropics"
Jesse Cook - "Vertigo" ( amazing )
Larry Carlton - "Friends"
3rd Force - " Collective Force" ( best of ) ( really good )
Dave Grusin/Lee Ritenour - "Harlequin"
Bill Laurance - "Swift" , " Flint "
Brian Culbertson - " Come on Up "
Hey...I mentioned Scofield first...also note that he absolutely IS jazz in every way...music doesn't have to be dissonant or hard to dance to to be jazz (although I like dissonant or more unhinged stuff also). There's a great Frisell documentary on Netflix or Amazon that I recently watched...is he jazz? Oh yeah.
Many greats already mentioned
Some New ,
All below I don't think are mentioned above
Cornell Dupree - any Stuff Album
Lots of good names mentioned. I used to play jazz guitar (before an infection impacted my left hand), and my favorites are as follows:
Charlie Christian. He basically put the electric jazz guitar on the map. He was the original guitar hero. By today’s standards his playing is basic but he came up with how to do it on his own, didn’t copy anybody. For 10 years after his death most of the jazz guitarists sounded like Charlie and he was only with Benny Goodman for about 3 years. A couple of albums to look for, “The Genius of the Electric Guitar” and “Solo Flight”. I might not be exact on the titles but close.
Wes Montgomery. Self taught genius who played with his thumb because his wife didn’t want him to wake up the baby when practicing. Early on his performances were covers of Charlie Christian solos. But then he found his voice. Chord soloing, chord melody, single note lead and octaves, octaves octaves (playing the same note an octave apart). His influence is still felt today. You can’t hear a smooth jazz guitarist without hearing Wes. I like his earlier stuff where is is playing more straight ahead jazz like the stuff he did for Pacific Jazz and especially Riverside. Riverside has a 10 cd set that includes the work he did with Cannonball Adderly who “discovered” him.
Others I love:
Joe Pass, especially with a combo as well as the solo stuff.
Gabor Szabo, Gypsy ‘66 and the original Breezin
Pat Martino, pre accident
Lee Ritenour, the stuff with Foreplay and especially Westbound
Another shout out to Bill Frisell... My favorites are his recordings with Paul Motian’s trio on ECM Records. And Frisell’s duo albums with Thomas Morgan are really special. Those are live at the Village Vanguard and also put out by ECM.
I saw someone mention Julian Lage already. I’ll second that his new "Love Hurts" album is very well done.
If you’re willing to listen with open ears one of my favorite guitarists is Jeff Parker. He crosses over many genres, and does a bit of free improv too. His trio album "Bright Light In Winter" on Delmark is a good one to start with.
+3 or 4 for "Friday Night In San Francisco". Best acoustic trio performance I’ve ever seen and/or heard. Youtube video of the concert doesn't do it justice. Haven't seen any other.
"Chester and Lester" is good stuff.
I’m a Grant Green fan, as of Wes Montgomery.
And just for fun, someone mentioned Stanley Jordan above. Ever see someone play two guitars simultaneously?
+1 for Passion, Grace and Fire
Jim Hall Trio: Live!
John McLaughlin: My Goal’s Beyond
Joe Pass: Virtuoso (don’t get the acoustic one, better tone on the electric ones)
in a fusion vein:
Miles Davis: A Tribute to Jack Johnson (with John McLaughlin)
Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Inner Mounting Flame or Birds of Fire
Oz Noy Trio: Live in Asia
The question is sort of like, 'What are your 1000 favorite albums?' Nonetheless, my 3 cents:
Kenny Burrell: many mentions above, but my favorite is Guitar Forms, a 1965 collaboration with Gil Evans
Al DiMeola: Splendido Hotel, 1980 is a must-have! Get the 2016 Speakers Corner remaster!
Bottleneck John: All Around John on Opus 3, LP 23001 ... don't think about it, just get it! He plays a different guitar on each track.