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Joe Pass: Resonance

Originally recorded in 1974, these previously unissued tracks are from a live session at Donte’s, the Hollywood club that provided a home away from home for many L.A.-based jazz musicians. Backed by his buddies drummer Frank Severino and bassist Jim Hughart, Pass turns in an especially exuberant performance.

Apparently keyed up for some reason, the mercurial Pass turns tunes like “It Could Happen to You” (often given a ballad treatment) and Jobim’s “Corcovado” into rousing, near-frantic tour de forces, where he establishes a brisk tempo and proceeds to tattoo variation after variation. He does eventually settle down, however, to play sweet and smooth on “Too Late Now” and “Misty,” each of which features Pass’ unmistakable combination of smooth single-note lines and silken chordal passages. On “How Deep Is the Ocean” Severino and Hughart sit things out, giving Pass a chance to showcase his uncanny ability to meld moving bass lines and other elements into a rich, unaccompanied tapestry.

Another look back at a brilliant performance from one of jazz’s most unforgettable players.

Originally Published