Jazz 100
Guitar
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Djangology
Django Reinhardt
1949 [RCA Victor]


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Gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt gave up the violin after losing movement in two fingers in a 1928 fire. As a result he developed a unique style of playing guitar, achieving significant success in Paris with the Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930s. This superb 1949 set reunites him with violinist Stephane Grappelli.





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Incredible Jazz Guitar
Wes Montgomery
1960 [Riverside]


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This easygoing hard bop outing catches thumb-picking guitarist Montgomery at the peak of his prowess. A terrific mix of covers and originals - standout tracks include 'Four on Six', 'West Coast Blues' and Sonny Rollins' upbeat 'Airegin'. There are obvious signs of Django Reinhardt's influence on several of the longer solos.





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Full House
Wes Montgomery
1962 [Riverside]


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This superb live album from guitarist Wes Montgomery is augmented by the fastest sax-man in the world - Johnny Griffin - and the delightful Wynton Kelly Trio. It must have been difficult remaining so relaxed when playing with Griffin, but it works. Not surprisingly, the Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb rhythm section does not disappoint.





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The Sorcerer
Gábor Szabó
1967 [Impulse!]


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Hungarian-born guitarist Gabor Szabo's most jazz-oriented work is this live date in 1967 at the Jazz Workshop in Boston. Following the Hungarian revolution of 1956 he moved to the United States, eventually ending up studying at the Berklee College of Music. This album is an absolute delight, especially Sonny Bono's 'The Beat Goes On'.





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Concierto
Jim Hall
1975 [CTI]


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A popular reissue thanks largely to the presence of cool icons Paul Desmond and Chet Baker. Although Hall's guitar shines throughout, the centrepiece of the record is a 19-minute arrangement of Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez'. The remainder consists of a mix of standards and originals that are sure to please fans of this fine jazz guitarist.





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Gateway
John Abercrombie
1975 [ECM]


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Abercrombie teams with the talented Dave Holland/Jack DeJohnette rhythm section on this early ECM fusion effort. The guitarist floats between mesmermisingly fast and clean jazz solos to explosive all-out electrified mayhem. Gateway owes its sound more to the Mahavishnu Orchestra than what most think of when they see the ECM label.





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Elegant Gypsy
Al Di Meola
1976 [Columbia]


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While still a member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever, lightning guitarist DiMeola struck out on his own for a second time. Gypsy would prove a commercial winner, attracting attention from both rock and jazz audiences. The real gem, however, is probably the acoustic duet 'Mediterranean Sundance' with future cohort Paco de Lucía.





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Pat Metheny Group
Pat Metheny Group
1978 [ECM]


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Hundreds of club-dates in every corner of America finally led to this breakthrough record for guitarist Metheny's group (featuring keyboardist Lyle Mays). The album is a timeless blend of floating melodies, acoustic nuances and progressive fusion. The group went on to become a major concert drawcard for many years afterward.



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