Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Weeping Guitar


I've been paying more attention to jazz guitarists lately. Some of the things they crank out are absolutely mesmerizing. Guys like Norman Brown, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, not household names mind you, can whip those strings into such a frenzy that one wonders why they have not gotten the wide recognition they rightfully deserve.

Only hipsters and old folks listen to jazz, some might theorize. Another explanation could be that jazz musicians usually don't get to play with full orchestras in concerts that are aired on PBS. And I'm only talking about guitarists. Many saxophone and trumpet players are equally capable of rearranging one's molecules. I am grateful that these musicians stick with this form of music, because it is so very easy for a high-caliber jazz guitarist to switch and play for some pop idol and make tons of money.

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