By: Bill Milkowski
1. George Benson, "Straight No Chaser" -- Nearly 12 minutes of unadulterated uptempo burn on this Thelonious Monk tune by chopsmeister Benson, from the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival.
2. Kenny Burrell, "Work Song" -- Jazz master Burrell gets down on a bluesy version of Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” from a 1973 performance at the Apollo Theater.
3. Gabor Szabo, “Mizrab” -- The Hungarian guitarist made a spellbinding impression at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1967 with his exotic piece from his album Jazz Raga, which is full of shimmering open string drones, controlled feedback and fleet-fingered excursions up and down the neck of his axe.
4 Larry Coryell, “Autumn in New York” -- The godfather of fusion guitar performs an intimate and virtuosic rendition of the jazz standard in an unaccompanied 1977 showcase at The Bottom Line in New York. Dig the chord melodies and ringing false harmonics.
5. Tal Farlow, “My Romance” -- The master of chord melodies and single note burn (nicknamed “Octopus” for his large hands) turns in a gorgeous rendition of this Rodgers & Hart jazz standard. Catch his virtuosic unaccompanied intro before the quartet kicks in.
6. Joe Pass, “Secret Love” -- The undisputed master of solo jazz guitar, Pass blows through this jazz standard with fearless abandon on a dazzling, unaccompanied intro before being joined by his rhythm section for more firework.
7. George Barnes, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” -- Though underappreciated by modern day jazz aficionados, Barnes was a swinging electric guitar pioneer who teamed with trumpeter Ruby Braff in the ‘70s for some potent straight ahead playing. They take a relaxed, swinging approach on this hip rendition of the Gershwin classic.
8. Pat Metheny, “Broadway Blues” -- Metheny brought a new tone and a new attitude to guitar in the late ‘70s. Hear him blow with unparalleled chops and heroic abandon on a stellar bit of improv that eventually morphs into Ornette Coleman’s “Broadway Blues.”
9. Pat Martino, “Tears of Ole Miss (Anatomy of a Riot)” -- Guita