Joe Pass

Joe Pass, actually Joseph Anthony Passalaqua, ( born January 13, 1929 in New Brunswick, New Jersey; † 23 May 1994, Los Angeles, California ) was an American jazz guitarist.

Life and work

Joe Pass began with nine years of playing the guitar. In 1943 he was active as a soloist in the Tony Pastor Orchestra; He also worked with Charlie Barnet, before he was called up for military service. In the late 1940s he moved to New York City, where he made ​​contact bebop scene, but also jammed with Art Tatum and Coleman Hawkins. By 1960, drug problems feigned him a career. In 1961 he had a breakthrough as a companion of the pianist Arnold Ross. In 1963 he played a his debut album Catch Me. During these years he worked with Clare Fischer, Gerald Wilson, Les McCann and George Shearing (1965-1967) and accompanied Frank Sinatra. The list of musicians with whom he stood since the 1970s, on the stage or worked in the studio, includes names such as Milt Jackson, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Brown, Stephane Grappelli, Toots Thielemans and Oscar Peterson.

He was one of the most prominent representatives of the jazz guitar - either as a sideman or as a solo artist. Milestones in Pass' career were the duets with singer Ella Fitzgerald, translated the standards for this occupation.

Recognition in the jazz scene worked to pass especially with the interpretation of bebop pieces. This he usually played alone or with a small rhythm section (usually consisting of bass and drums ). His special technique went by the name " Chordal Improvisation" in jazz history. This pass was always a balance between playing the theme and the accompaniment in one. He was also able excerpts integrating bass lines in his game. Particularly noteworthy here are the recordings on the albums of the Virtuoso series ( see discography ).

Discography (excerpt)

  • Joe Pass: For Django, BGO Records 1964
  • Joe Pass: Intercontinental MPS Records in 1974, recording 1970
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso, Pablo Records in 1974, recording 1973
  • Joe Pass: Portraits of Duke Ellington, Pablo Rec 1975, recording 1974
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso # 2 Pablo Records in 1976, recording 1976
  • Joe Pass: Montreux '77 - Live, 1977
  • Joe Pass: Blues For Fred, 1988
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Take Love Easy 1973
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald And Pass ... Again 1976
  • Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald: Speak Love, 1982
  • Joe Pass: Virtuoso # 4 Pablo Records in 1983, recording 1973
  • Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Niels -Henning Ørsted Pedersen: The Good Life
  • Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Niels -Henning Ørsted Pedersen: The Trio
  • Joe Pass, Stephane Grappelli, Niels -Henning Ørsted Pedersen: Tivoli Gardens
  • Joe Pass, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown: The Big 3
  • Joe Pass, One for my Baby, Pablo Records in 1989 with Plas Johnson (tenor sax ), Gerald Wiggins ( piano, organ ), Andy Simpkins ( bass), Tootie Heath ( drums)
  • Joe Pass, NDR Big Band: Joe Pass in Hamburg, 1990
  • Feat. Joe Pass: Carter, Gillespie, Inc. Pablo Records in 1976, recording 1976



  • Jazz Guitar Solos (1971 ), GWYN Publishing Co.
  • Joe Pass Improvising Ideas ( 1994), Mel Bay Publications
  • Joe Pass Guitar Style, Alfred Publishing Co.
  • Joe Pass Chord Solos, Alfred Publishing Co.

Lexigrafische Notes

  • Wolf Kampmann Reclams Jazz Encyclopedia Stuttgart 2003; ISBN 3-15-010528-5
  • Martin Kunzler Jazz Encyclopedia Vol 2 Reinbek 2002; ISBN 3-499-16513-9