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Upbeat Jazzy Solo Acoustic Guitar Albums?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Sorry for the inept description in the title. I'm looking for albums with almost Dixieland-style jazz on solo acoustic guitar. I don't really have any references as to who this might sound like-it's the kind of music they used to play in the background of many PBS programs, if that helps ;) If anyone has some recommendations, I'd appreciate it.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Solo guitar? You might be thinking of Django Reinhardt, but he's usually paired with violinist Stephane Grappelli.
  3. I wouldn't know of any Dixieland-style solo acoustic guitar albums, but Ralph Towner's recent disc Anthem has much higher jazz content than his usual and might fit your needs. There's even an awesome version of Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step" on there.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have seen exactly what you are describing at a solo acoustic guitar concert by Martin Taylor - the British Jazz Gutarist.

    So - he was playing chords, a walking bass line and then the tune or improvised solo over the top on up-beat bebop tunes!!

    It was incredible and most of the audience were other Jazz musicians trying to work out how he was doing it!! ;)

    I've never bought any of his albums though and haven't heard any ......although a quick search on Amazon gets this :


    Read the customer reviews!! ;)

    Or how about this :

    Pat Metheny
    'Martin Taylor's solo playing is absolutely inspiring and amazing'
  5. deepbob


    Oct 3, 2001
    left field
    tuck of tuck and patti, while not solo, is very upbeat and very jazzy, and mostly the only instrument aside from patti's voice.

    not to mention amazing. he plays a very diverse range of styles tho, sometimes i hear dixieland in there somewhere.

    >> amazon (page of smples from one of their albums)

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    NOT Acoustic, per se-
    Joe Pass does something similar.
    Stanley Jordan, too, albeit in his own way.

    Charlie Byrd maybe?
  7. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    I have this jazz guitar compilation where a variety of talented, internationally famous guitarists are featured. On one track I like especially, Larry Coryell is featured along with Belgian Philip Catherine on a song titled, "Blues for Django and Stephane". I don't know the actual name of the album it came from, but it appears to be from a live memorial concert for Mr. Reinhardt, with other musicians. I think this track simply kills and if you can find the CD of this, GET IT!

    Good luck
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I've been a fan of Tuck Andress for a long time. His acoustic guitar work is just awesome.
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Your question has me puzzling over what you may have heard on PBS. The quintessential sound of Dixieland or, shall I say, most authentic sound of Dixieland features a banjo rather than acoustic guitar.

    So that leaves me to ponder if you are referring to pure Dixieland,or similar but different style such as New Orleans jazz, ragtime, zydeco or sounds that predate or are contemporary with it and have a few things in common.

    I also wondered what you could have been hearing on PBS and know that often historical shows about the old South, slavery, the civil War, the Depression and related themes commonly have acoustic slide guitar and Delta blues or Memphis blues styles.

    Here are some solo acoustic guitarists and solo slide guitarists of the era that may or may not be what you have in mind. You can hear sound bites of all of them at Amazon.com. If you would like to listen to them, tell me how they are similar or different from what you want, I may be able to further hone my suggestions. I hope these are what you had in mind.

    Big Bill Broonzy
    Bukka White
    Furry Lewis
    Charlie Jordan
    Fred McDowell
    Charlie Patton
  10. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There's one other guitarist you might want to check out. I thought of him, but had to check some of my references to be sure. I am referring to the great Charlie Christian who is said to be the first jazz electric guitarist. His style, however, is not Dixieland, it was more related to swing. You did mention "upbeat" jazz, however, which swing definitely can be.

    Christian could play acoustic guitar, but is better known for his electric work. I don't know if he actualy has an album of solo acoustic work.
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Tuck actually plays an electrified L5, though he's bypassed most of the electronics and is a stickler for pure tone.

    If you go to his website, he gives a lot of helpful pointers about how to EQ an instrument properly.

  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Thanks for the help, everyone.

    Boplicity, I can't recall what PBS programs I mentioned, as they are mostly memories of hearing them when I was a child and PBS was the only channel we had :) I used the Dixieland reference only as a guide to the type of upbeat sound-I doubt if it would be officially categorized under that title. A guitarist friend I had used to play this type of music quite often on a small guitar, which had nylon strings if I remember correctly. It was very chordal with a minimum of soloing; mellow but upbeat-not like a blues. The Martin Taylor reference was a good one, but a little too much emphasis on the solos, and I believe the nylon-stringed guitar tone has a lot to do with it. Thanks to everyone again for looking up all these artists! Oh, and while it wasn't what I was looking for specifically, I found the Tuck Andress Christmas album and the clips sound great-I'll get it one of these days!
  13. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    YES!! He is insane!! Monster does not even begin to describe this player.
  14. deepbob


    Oct 3, 2001
    left field
    wow, very cool, didn't realize they had a site up. some great stuff in there.