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Artist’s Choice: Frank Vignola on Jazz Guitar Essentials

Joe Pass, Django, Les Paul, Charlie Christian and other six-string sensations

Joe Pass
Les Paul, 1947

Writing this column brought back so many wonderful memories. Thinking about the most important guitar recordings I’ve heard since the age of 6, when I first started playing, was so much fun. And the record covers were so cool–I miss them so much. I used to sit down, put the record on the turntable, put the needle on the record and listen closely while reading the liner notes over and over again.

Young jazzers should give a deep listen not only to the obvious masters like Wes, Benson and Metheny, but to the guitarists who influenced those greats. So many guitarists, like Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang and Oscar Moore, just to name a few, have been so influential. Without them there would be no jazz guitar as we know it. Here are some timeless recordings every aspiring jazz guitarist needs to hear.

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