The guitar's odyssey in Jazz is presented afresh in Vestapol's third compilation of prime performances from six of the idiom's movers and shakers. These men are among the most exemplary band members to choose the guitar as their means of expression. The initial inspiration for most of them was Charlie Christian, who blazed trails Jazz guitarists still tread a half century later. Christian swung in the direction of Bop, and his disciples (foremost among whom are seen here) boldly carried the guitar into that next phase of Jazz. Aside from their fervor for the potential of the guitar in the evolution of Jazz, many of these artists have similar backgrounds: Southern or Southwestern, and of roughly the same generation. But their individuality is abundantly clear in performances ranging from meditative ballads to speed-of-sound boppers. Underlying it all is an exhilarating sense of triumph over that apparent oxymoron, Jazz guitar. Having proven that the guitar is indeed a first rate medium for Jazz expression, these artists confidently address other contradictions, ones involving evolution within a well-grounded tradition. They're serious about their business, but you can see them having fun with it, too. 63 minute video.
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