Personalities | Joe Pass | Sixties | Jazz & Blues

(Guitar, 1929–94)

Although drug addiction nearly killed the promising career of Joe Pass, he became one of the most influential and beloved guitarists in jazz. As a young man Pass played with various swing bands, then fell into heroin abuse while in the military. He recorded his first album while in rehabilitation in 1962, showcasing his impressive technique of splitting melodic and accompanying figures. From the mid-1970s until his death from cancer, Pass was a true jazz star, particularly as a solo performer and in recordings with Ella Fitzgerald.

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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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