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Artist’s Choice: Fabrizio Sotti on Eight Essential Jazz Guitarists

Favorites by Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield and more

Joe Pass

The guitarists I selected below have had a fundamental influence in my playing. I consider them milestones of jazz guitar history and evolution, both past and present. Picking just one favorite track per guitarist is very difficult, so without any specific criteria, I chose the ones I listened to the most while growing up.

“‘Round Midnight”

Wes Montgomery Trio
A Dynamic New Sound (Riverside, 1959)

I think that the title of the album was right on! It was the first time I heard Wes and the organ used outside of classical or religious music. The sound of this trio was an inspiration for all guitar/organ trios to come: warm, mysterious and swinging. Wes’ solo on this track is basically a jazz guitar dictionary.

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