Music Appreciation

The great guitar album you didn’t know was a great guitar album

A great guitar album you may not have known was a great guitar album is Christopher Cross‘s self-titled debut (1979). Yes, that’s right, soft rock legend Christopher Cross, the guy who did “Sailing” and “Arthur’s Theme” not only featured Jay Graydon, Larry Carlton and Eric Johnson on masterful guitar solos for 5 songs, but is himself a killer guitar player who knocked it out of the park on his own hit, “Ride Like The Wind” with a shredding outro solo. Great player, great album full of great songwriting and some truly brilliant guitar work. If you haven’t noticed this album before, I highly recommend it from start to finish.

Jazz guitar legend Pat Martino passes away at age 77

From NPR:

Determined to meet his jazz idols, Martino set out for Harlem at the young age of 15 and quickly settled into a busy schedule playing with masters of the Hammond B-3 organ. Traces of those soul-jazz origins can still be heard on the guitarist’s 1967 debut for Prestige, El Hombre, featuring Philly organist Trudy Pitts. The album’s unique lineup finds Martino already pushing into new terrain however, with a guitar/flute out front and a percussion-heavy rhythm section supplying powerful propulsion for the leader’s quicksilver lines.

El Hombre is a formative album for any budding jazz guitarist, and one of my personal favorites of the genre. 55 years later, it remains a towering debut from a young player who was already flirting with virtuoso status, and his career would only ascend from there. You can also read some of the accolades from his peers in Downbeat, it’s clear he was highly respected and well-liked in musician circles. Rest in peace, Mr. Martino, there will never be another like you.