Jazz is said by many to be the only true American music. Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States: it was born from a confluence of African and European music traditions. Jazz can be difficult to define. Travis Jackson, Professor of Music and Humanity and the University of Chicago, states that "it is music that includes qualities such as swinging, improvising, group interaction, developing an individual voice, and being open to different musical possibilities". I especially enjoy Jazz live because of the improvisational aspect. Just a bunch a great musicians jamming together.
This category is one of a few that I expect to leave off a great many players. Although I know more than the average person, I am in no way an expert in Jazz guitar. I have listened to a lot and have made my list based on my favorites. I also included both Jazz and Jazz/Fusion in order to have enough qualified candidates. This allows me to include players such as Allan Holdsworth and Al Di Meola.
Here's my list of my top 10 favorite Jazz - Jazz/Fusion guitarists:
As I mentioned I am sure I am leaving out a lot of great guitarists, as I listen to more I am sure I will need to amend this list.
Essential Albums are listed after each:
1. Al Di Meola – Elegant Gypsy, Kiss My Axe
2. Allan Holdsworth – Metal Fatigue, Secrets
3. John McLaughlin – Extrapolation, Birds of Fire
4. Mike Stern – Standards (and other songs)
5. George Benson – Breezin’
6. Wes Montgomery – Smokin’ at the Half Note
7. Larry Carlton – Last Nite
8. Pat Metheny – Bright Size Life
9. Kenny Burrell – Midnight Blue
10. Joe Pass – Virtuoso
As usual, I am interested in differing points of view or reminders of who I may have forgotten.