Brad Powell's
Joe Pass
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Remembering the 84th Aniversary of Joe Pass' Birthday
January 13, 2013
(January 13, 1929 --- May 23, 1994)
Joe Pass recorded on well over 150 records, with Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Herb Ellis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerald Wilson, and many other giants of jazz. Plus, he wrote several books for guitarists, and was featured in several videos, etc. Many professional guitarists and jazz writers regard Joe Pass as one of the all-time greatest jazz guitarists. The late Leaonard Feather (author of "The Encylopedia of Jazz"), in an article published in the Los Angeles Times, picked Joe as the guitarist for his "fantasy jazz band of the 20th Century."

Introduction Links Works of Joe Pass

When I was barely fifteen years old, my high school band director, Bob Smith, played a record for me: Moment of Truth by the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. Mr. Smith, said: "Brad, listen to this guitarist, Joe Pass!" Then I remembered reading an interview with Joe Pass in Guitar Player magazine, in which he said he taught a few lessons. A few months later, I contacted Mr. Pass by phone and asked if I could study guitar from him. He obliged, and I was forever influenced by his music, mentoring, and friendship.

In 1981, I wrote a tribute piece I entitled "Passalaqua" -then expanded it into a suite entitled: Passalaqua Suite, after Joe's full last name. I first recorded the suite in 1981 (with Mark Massey on piano, Gary Pratt on bass, Scott Page on drums, and me on guitar), and gave it to Joe as a "thank you." I asked Joe if he minded that I called it Passalaqua Suite, and he said "No, not at all. I'm honored by it. It sounds like a classical piece, like a passacaglia (Joe chuckled)."

Years later, I planned to include Passalaqua Suite on my CD. Joe agreed to perform the suite on the CD, however, it was not to be. Joe left the planet too soon. So, with great respect for Joe's influence and legacy, I performed the guitar part, and dedicate Passalaqua Suite on my CD to Joe Pass.

Lessons With Joe--a collage of conversation and lessons with Joe, is a prelude to Passalaqua Suite, to show a bit of his influence on me, personally. I hope you find it enjoyable.

You can buy and download the individual tracks for "Passalaqua Suite" on iTunes, Napster, and several other download services. Here are some links:

First Step In A Long Journey on iTunes The Brad Powell Expedition
First Step In A Long Journey
Individual Tracks ($0.99)
Entire Album ($9.99)

at iTunes

at Napster

at CDBaby
(Note: CDBaby does not offer downloads of individual tracks)

(left-right) Ellen Lüders-Pass, Brad Powell, Jeanne Pisano Here's a photo of me with my good friends Ellen Lüders-Pass and Jeanne Pisano, taken at the Classic American Guitar Show at Five Towns College, Long Island, NY, this past May. Ellen (widow of Joe Pass), a television producer in Germany, was presented with a posthumous award at the show for Joe's tremendous contributions to jazz guitar. Ellen wrote a wonderful article about their years together, entitled "Beautiful Love," in the June 1996 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine. Jeanne is a gifted vocalist and recording artist with The Flying Pisanos, performing along with her husband, jazz guitar great John Pisano. (John is often called Joe Pass' alter ego, for his work with the Joe Pass Quartet.)

Joe Pass links

Please email me any new Joe Pass links...Thanks!

Joe Pass Memorial Hall

Ken Brown (San Francisco classical guitarist telling of his personal experience knowing Joe)

Fred's Music Shop, Shillington, PA (featuring Epiphone's Joe Pass model guitars)

A wonderful painting of Joe by Klas Smeby

Frank Potenza, jazz guitarist & recording artist, and former student of Joe Pass

My friend and fellow guitarist, Tabo Oishi, in Japan, has compiled and edited a book entitled: "The Works of Joe Pass" which is an outstanding discography and bibliography of Joe's works. It includes color illustrations of all covers of original albums known to include Joe Pass. It is a must for any serious student of jazz guitar or fan of Joe's. This discography can now be seen online at Tabo's website:
Joe Pass Memorial Hall

Thanks for stopping by.

Cover: First Step In A Long Journey

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