Joe Pass (13 January 1929 – 23 May 1994) was an Italian American virtuoso jazz guitarist. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century.
Pass started played guitar when he was nine and was getting gigs as early as 14. He began travelling with small jazz groups and eventually moved from Pennsylvania to New York City.
However, he almost didn’t make it as a musician due to his early battle with drug addiction. But following a successful rehab at Synanon and a recording session with fellow recovered musicians entitled Sounds of Synanon, Pass was signed by Dick Bock to the Pacific Jazz label.
He made several albums as a leader and sideman for Bock – including the early classics Catch Me, 12-String Guitar, For Django and Simplicity – but work started to dry up in the late 1960s as rock dominated the music marketplace. During this time, Pass did mostly TV and recording session work in Los Angeles.
Things changed in the early 1970s, when Pass met Norman Granz, producer of Jazz at the Philharmonic and the founder of Verve Records. Granz signed him to his new Pablo label and recorded him extensively, as a soloist, in duos and trios, and as a part of many studio and concert jam sessions.
Pass released some important albums on Pablo Records during the 1970s. In 1974, he released both his landmark solo album Virtuoso and the award-winning album The Trio featuring Pass, Oscar Peterson and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Also on Pablo Records, Pass recorded six albums with Ella Fitzgerald towards the end of her career.
In this live recording, Pass plays ‘All the Things You Are’ – demonstrating his finger-style playing, which he preferred over using a pick as it enabled him to execute his harmonic concepts more effectively.