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A lot of times when the dynamics of the rhythm tracks pick up and get a little more intense, the solo does as well. Are you reacting to the rhythm track when you are doing the lead?
Usually, yeah. Sometimes what happened, I would actually do a section where I was playing with the rhythm guitar and putting the lead guitar on top, and sometimes I’d play something on the lead guitar that would give me an idea for the rhythm guitar. So, I’d go back and change the rhythm guitar. Often, I wouldn’t keep the original tracks. By the time I’d finished with them, I’d gone through quite a few changes. It was like doing an oil painting, really.
When you were choosing the tunes, did you think that maybe this one would be done in the style of Joe Pass and Herb Ellis? Or did that not come into play at all?
No. I don’t think in those terms. I’ve really only got one way of playing, and one sound.
You mentioned in the liner notes that you had done a bunch of duos with other guitarists. When did you work with Joe Pass?
I knew him in the seventies, but we didn’t play together until shortly before he died. In fact, we were planning to make an album together. We played a few festivals in Europe. He already knew he was ill at that time. In a few days I’m doing a gig with Mundell Lowe. We’ve known each other for years and years, but we’ve never recorded together. I think about all the guitar players—Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd, Tal Farlow—that I’d worked with so often and I haven’t got a single recording with them.