Joe Pass: Intercontinental

Album cover art for upc 4029759159124
Label: MPS-Jazz
Catalog: 40297591591
Format: CD

Joe Pass

At the beginning of the seventies, hardly anyone else embodied the high art of the solo guitar like him. In the early summer of 1970, the MPS studios in Villingen witnessed Joe Pass at the height of his inspiration, accompanied by two luminaries of the European jazz scene. "Intercontinental" is a showcase of the stylistic versatility of the then 41-year-old. His string art transforms swing standards like Benny Goodman's "Stompin' At The Savoy" or Count Basie's "Lil' Darlin'" into cool elegance. But he also lets the tropical sun shine in his playing, for example when he adapts Jobim's "Meditação" or spices Michel Legrand's "Watch What Happens" and Willi Fruth's (the sound engineer of this recording!) "El Gento" with Bossa Nova rhythms. The basic mood of "Ode To Billy Joe" is downright funky and at the same time mild in timbre. The two technical highlights of the album are moments that show the trio interaction in perfection: The guitar's improvisational exuberance in "I Love You" seems like a string of pearls, while Brit Kenny Clare delicately paints swing with a brush. And finally, in his own composition "Joe's Blues", Pass develops a breathtakingly melancholic arc of tension, in which the young Eberhard Weber, who is still in the early stages of his solo career, congenially puts himself in the limelight with a bass solo

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