Joe Pass: Stompin' at the Savoy


Stompin' at the Savoy


Joe Pass (guitar)


Intercontinental (MP Classics 5326)

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Joe Pass (guitar), Eberhard Weber (bass),

Kenny Clare (drums)


Composed by Benny Goodman, Chick Webb, Edgar Sampson & Andy Razaf


Recorded: Villingen, Germany, June 1970


Rating: 84/100 (learn more)

Joe Pass's hollow-body guitar is drenched in reverb and enhanced by low shelving; its trebleness is especially apparent during his solo turns, but even more so compared to many of his contemporaries. While their notes may outnumber his, Pass's lines are strategically placed along the fretboard, ringing out with force and passion and a captivating intelligence that is always on display. While his volume is miles in front of the rhythm section, the dynamics remain undamaged. They allow him to speak by simply sticking to the original arrangement, marching in lockstep on a straight-ahead plank. The ride-accented drums and standup bass recall traditional jazz, and the mellow swing does not break any new ground, but the groove is both effortless and engaging, and the track ultimately features many confident, uncomplicated bars of jazz. In flawless time, the players enhance the standard with charisma, the rhythm section perfectly complementing Pass's technical expertise. Their cool-blue gusto, obviously honed through nightly performance, rings true to the song's spirit. On an undemanding chart, the simplicity is never at odds with the cut's trajectory. Such clarity of vision is invigorating.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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