Joe Pass (my favorite recordings)

Joe Pass (1929-1994) is one of the finest jazz guitarists in history. There is little dispute about that. His solo guitar recordings are exemplary but my personal favorite Joe Pass records are “Intercontinental ” recorded June of 1970 in Germany with Kenny Clare and Eberhard Weber and “In Hamburg” which was recorded 1990-1992 with big band and orchestra.

The fact that both of these recordings were made in Germany is noteworthy. Most of his recordings were made in L.A.

Toward the end of his life he lived in Germany and was married to a German woman I believe.

It was in L.A. (in the late 1970’s) that I happened to first meet Joe and had the pleasure to learn from him first hand.


As we are nearing the anniversary of Django’s death I stumbled upon a photo of him coming down the steps of his small “caravan”. He was dapper and happy and it was obviously early in the day following a late night at a gig or a party.

The small trailer he so proudly stepped out into daylight from looked very much like the small mobile home my Uncle Tony lived in for years. In fact, much of my family lived in such dwellings. In my family, it was not common practice to judge each other based on monetary means or the grandeur of our circumstances.  I can honestly say that it did NOT matter. We had our faults but this was not one of them.

You were judged, in my opinion, on a deeper level. Your true character mattered. And, for some odd reason, people have seemed to have lost this innate quality. Call it your built in “bullshit detector.”

I rarely state my political views but I have to say that Donald Trump sets off all four alarms on my BS Detector.