jazz

Whether Barney Kessel intervened to get his guitar into Bruce Forman’s hands is a matter of one’s belief in the supernatural, but it certainly seems as if it was meant to be.

Photo by Patrick Tregenza

As a protégé of the jazz legend, Forman spent a lot of time with his mentor’s Gibson ES-350. He’s now the owner of that instrument and is paying tribute on a fun and fantastically swinging album.

“Does an instrument really contain or possess a part of the person’s soul who plays it?” ponders guitarist Bruce Forman. “Probably not … I don’t believe in that shit.”

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A foray into the fretboard wizardry of one of the greatest of all time.

Advanced

Intermediate

• Unleash the power of the superimposed arpeggio.
• Organize advanced language in a guitar-friendly way.
• Create excitement and forward motion in your solos.

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George Benson is a jack-of-all-trades in the music world. He's known by many as a talented R&B singer and he's floored listeners with his melodic guitar-driven smooth jazz instrumentals, but to me (and my fellow jazz guitar nerds), Benson has all of the qualities that make him one of the greatest straight-ahead jazz guitarists of all time.

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Connors often works in sweeping, lulling, minimalist waves of sound, but he also attacked the strings, as he is here in this 2017 photo from Brooklyn's ISSUE Project Room.

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Laboring under the radar for 40 years and afflicted by Parkinson's, the improvising guitarist is riding a wave of new and reissue recordings that may finally bring his blues-, jazz-, and Rothko-inspired music to more listeners.

"Working with Loren is, in some ways, not really 'working with Loren.' It's more like you're entering a space that you both occupy—not a place for conversation or exchanging pleasantries," says experimental musician Jim O'Rourke, describing his longtime musical relationship with guitarist Loren Connors. "More so than anyone I have worked with, it is a place with its own logic, its own sense of time, and no road map." Anyone who has witnessed one of Connors' performances can understand what O'Rourke, who has partnered with Connors in duos and as an engineer, is talking about.

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