egroj world: VA • Fun On The Frets, Early Jazz Guitar
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viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

VA • Fun On The Frets, Early Jazz Guitar

Review by Scott Yanow
This Yazoo LP has many rather rare acoustic guitar performances. Carl Kress, a great chordal player, is heard on ten duets with fellow guitarist Tony Mottola in 1941, a couple of hot numbers with Dick McDonough (1934's "Danzon" and "I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling" from 1936) and two 1939 solos. In addition the seven-string guitar pioneer George Van Eps is featured on four numbers with a trio from 1949. Those listeners who have only heard of Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian among early guitarists are well-advised to search for this fascinating LP.

Editorial Reviews
One of the great guitarists of the 1930s, Carl Kress had a very sophisticated chordal style on acoustic guitar. Kress often teamed up with fellow guitarist Dick McDonough in the 1930s, and continued working in the studios into the 1960s, playing during his last years in a duo with George Barnes. Most of Carl Kress' solo and duet (with McDonough) recordings from the 1930s are long overdue to be reissued.
With the premature death of Eddie Lang in 1933, Dick McDonough and Carl Kress were considered his likely successors both on jazz dates and in the studios. McDonough was already a very busy player. His work accelerated with Lang's passing, he occasionally teamed up with Kress, and during 1936-1937, McDonough led a notable series of medium-size group recordings, few of which have ever been reissued.
George Van Eps was a quiet legend among jazz guitarists, one who as far back as the 1930s pioneered a harmonically sophisticated chordal/lead style that was eclipsed in influence by the single-string idioms of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Yet Van Eps, also stood apart from them as an iconoclastic inventor, designing a seven-string guitar in the late '30s that adds an extra bass string. Thus, Van Eps was able to play basslines simultaneously with chords and lead solos, a jazz equivalent of fingerpicking country guitarists like Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Van Eps puckishly referred to his style of playing as "lap piano," and his seven-string guitar has been adopted by a select few figures like Howard Alden and Bucky and John Pizzarelli.

1. Fun on the Frets - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
2. Jazz in G - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
3. Sarong Number - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
4. The Camel Walks - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
5. Blonde on the Loose - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
6. Serenade - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
7. Squeeze Box Swing - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
8. Sharp as a Tack - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
9. Nobody's Idea - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
10. Boogie Woogie for Guitar - Carl Kress & Tony Mottola
11. Danzon - Carl Kress & Dick McDonough
12. I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling Me - Carl Kress & Dick McDonough
13. Peg Leg Shuffle - Carl Kress
14. Sutton Mutton (Taking it on the Lamb) - Carl Kress
15. I Wrote it for Jo - George Van Eps
16. Kay's Fantasy - George Van Eps
17. Tea for Two - George Van Eps
18. Once in a While - George Van Eps

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