Charlie Byrd/Herb Ellis/Tal Farlow: Jumpin' at the Woodside


Jumpin' at the Woodside


Charlie Byrd (guitar), Herb Ellis (guitar), and Tal Farlow (guitar)


Great Guitars of Jazz (Vestapol 13075)

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Charlie Byrd (guitar), Herb Ellis (guitar), Tal Farlow (guitar).

Composed by Count Basie


Recorded: Pittsburgh, early 1997


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Featured on a DVD entitled Great Guitars of Jazz, this version of "Jumpin' at the Woodside" pays its respects to the masters of the first popular era of the genre. Tal Farlow cites Eddie Lang, Dick McDonough, and Carl Kress, and, after admitting to the obscurity of the players he mentions, the band launches into a composition made famous by Count Basie. The attack on the guitar solos, however, takes the Basie standard a few steps further and into fusion territory. No great stretch for these three jazz giants, the boundaries are bent significantly as the players exercise their mastery over the revolving sequence of chord changes.

The form never alters, but the solos sit on the boundaries' margins and imply their own time signatures within the set form. The performance will teach any level of guitarist the importance of knowing a set amount of theory and then applying it to any chart presented. The chords themselves are, at times, altered slightly from those written on paper, and the dynamics shift but never falter. The players follow each other into territory defined by whomever takes the initiative, and the expository nature is a great document of genius and perfection on display.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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