Archive for February, 2010

Joe Diorio

February 28, 2010

Nicolai Foss

Joe Diorio may not be known to jazz lovers or even to jazz guitarists to the same extent as, say, Pat Martino or Pat Metheny. He is, however, an innovator who is certainly on par with the two Pats. He shares with Martino the experience of suffering a near-fatal illness (Diorio had a stroke in 2005) and having to rebuild his chops almost completely. Here is an illuminating account of Diorio’s career, stroke and recovery. There is plenty of Diorio material on YouTube. And here are the Amazon.com results for Diorio. “Solo Guitar,” his breakthrough album, is highly recommended!

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Miscellaneous

February 21, 2010

Nicolai Foss

Finally — a worthy use of myspace.com. Posting pics of Epis, of course. Here (HTto Frank Frank).

Just in” at archtop.com. The leading internet archtop, archtop.com offers a new batch of mouthwatering beauties, including no less than two very pretty Epi Devons and a blonde Spartan.

Europe’s Best Archtop Vendor

February 14, 2010

Nicolai Foss

… may well be “Vintage Instruments,” 19, rue de Douai, Paris. Check out their amazing stock here. Unfortunately, prices are not listed.

Howard Roberts Clip

February 6, 2010

Nicolai Foss


There is surprisingly little footage around of the great Howard Roberts, arguably the most under-rated guitarist in jazz history. Here is the only footage available on YouTube, with Howard playing “Star Eyes.” I think this is from the mid to late 197os. I saw Roberts perform in Jazzhouse Montmartre in 1982, and I remember him looking a bit older than in this clip.

Wolf Marshall’s New Barney Kessel Transcriptions

February 6, 2010

Nicolai Foss

Many, perhaps most, practicising jazz guitarists are familiar with ├╝ber-transcriber Wolf Marshall. Thus, Wolf has brought Grant Green, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, George Benson, etc. transcriptions to the jazz guitar community.

A new set of Wolf Marshall transcriptions is a major event, and such an event has recently transpired with Hal Leonard’s release of Barney Kessel: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of His Guitar Styles and Techniques.”

Arguably, the notions of styles (in plural) in the subtitle is a bit exaggerated, for virtually all of the transcriptions are from Kessel’s first three recordings as a leader, Easy Like, Kessel Plays Standards, and To Swing or Not to Swing, whereas the change in Kessel’s playing which began around 1960 with the latest of the Pollwinners albums to an even more bluesy, stomping and loose style isn’t really represented here. In fact, many think that Barney’s first recordings as a leader are also his finest, and Wolf has transcribed classics like “Salute to Charlie Christian” (my personal favorite early Barney number), “Easy Like,” “Indiana,” “Speak Low,” and of course done so with his usual precision and empathy. Great work, Wolf!!