Joe Pass

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joe Pass during a concert in Munich in 1974

Joe Pass , actually Joseph Anthony Passalaqua (* 13. January 1929 in New Brunswick , New Jersey ; † 23. May 1994 in Los Angeles , California ) was an American jazz - guitarist .

Live and act

Joe Pass started playing the guitar when he was nine. As early as 1943 he was active as a soloist in the Tony Pastor Orchestra ; he also worked with Charlie Barnet before being drafted into military service. In the late 1940s he moved to New York City , where he came into contact with the bebop scene, but also jammed with Art Tatum and Coleman Hawkins . Until 1960, drug problems blocked a career for him. In 1961 he had a breakthrough as the accompanist of the pianist Arnold Ross . In 1963 he played his debut album Catch Me . During these years he worked with Clare Fischer , Gerald Wilson , Les McCann and George Shearing (1965–1967) and accompanied Frank Sinatra . The list of musicians with whom he has performed on stage or worked in the studio since the 1970s includes names like Ella Fitzgerald , Milt Jackson , Sarah Vaughan , Ray Brown , Stéphane Grappelli , Toots Thielemans and Oscar Peterson .

He was one of the most prominent representatives of the jazz guitar - whether as a sideman or as solo - artist . Milestones in Pass' career were the duets with the singer Ella Fitzgerald , which set the standard for this line-up.

Pass gained recognition in the jazz scene primarily with the interpretation of bebop pieces. He usually played these alone or with a small rhythm section (mostly consisting of bass and drums ). His complex, unaccompanied solos went down in jazz history under the name "Chordal Improvisation". He combined melody lines, chords and walking bass figures using fingerstyle technology to create a flowing performance that is still groundbreaking for the solo jazz guitar today. Particularly noteworthy are the recordings on the albums of the Virtuoso series (see discography).

Discography (excerpt)

Joe Pass 1975
  • Joe Pass: For Django , BGO Records 1964
  • Joe Pass: Intercontinental MPS Records 1974, recorded 1970
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso , Pablo Records 1974, recorded 1973
  • Joe Pass: Portraits of Duke Ellington , Pablo Rec. 1975, recorded 1974
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso # 2 Pablo Records 1976, recorded 1976
  • Joe Pass: Montreux '77 - Live , 1977
  • Joe Pass: Blues For Fred , 1988
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Take Love Easy , 1973
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald And Pass ... Again , 1976
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Speak Love , 1982
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso # 4 Pablo Records 1983, recorded 1973
  • Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen : The Good Life
  • Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: The Trio
  • Joe Pass, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: Chops (Original Jazz Classic)
  • Joe Pass, Stéphane Grappelli, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: Tivoli Gardens
  • Joe Pass, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown : The Big 3
  • Joe Pass, One for my Baby , Pablo Records 1989 with Plas Johnson (tenor sax), Gerald Wiggins (piano, organ), Andy Simpkins (bass), Tootie Heath (drums)
  • Joe Pass, NDR Big Band : Joe Pass in Hamburg , 1990
  • feat. Joe Pass: Carter, Gillespie, Inc. Pablo Records 1976, recorded 1976


  • The Complete Pacific Jazz Joe Pass Quartet Session (1963-64), Mosaic Label 2001, 5 CDs


  • Jazz Guitar Solos (1971), GWYN Publishing Co.
  • Joe Pass Improvising Ideas (1994), Mel Bay Publications
  • Joe Pass Guitar Style , Alfred Publishing Co.
  • Joe Pass Chord Solos , Alfred Publishing Co.

Lexigraphic cues

Web links

Commons : Joe Pass  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sam Blakelock: What was Joe Pass' Approach to Solo Jazz Guitar? January 13, 2016, accessed on May 16, 2020 .