Greg Amirault – 5 Desert Island Album Picks

Greg Amirault

Regardless if you’re a beginning student of Jazz Guitar or an established player, we all have at least five albums that we cannot be without! With that said, Jazz Guitar Life has asked Jazz Guitarist Greg Amirault what his five would be (assuming that he knew before hand that he was going to be stuck on a desert island and that said island had electricity and a full component stereo system) 🙂

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1) Wes Montgomery – Boss Guitar: Recorded in 1963 this is my favourite Wes recording. The guitar sound is great on this recording and the combination of guitar and organ is powerful. As always Wes sounds fresh and has a never ending supply of great ideas. The way he develops them melodically and rhythmically is part of his genius and what keeps me listening to him. Also his swing feel is contagious, nobody swings harder than Wes.

2) Ed Bickert/Don Thompson: (1978) When I first heard this there were only 7 tracks, and it was a duo recording with only guitar and bass. I had only been playing jazz for about two years when I first heard this album, so I didn’t really understand Ed’s genius. I had this on cassette and played it until the tape was worn out. Ed always plays great solos, is so melodic and doesn’t play many cliché jazz lincks. His accompaniment is beyond great, he always plays so beautifully behind the bass solos. This was re-released in 2004 with some added tunes that included Terry Clarke on drums. The inclusion of tracks 8-11 (recorded in 1976) are a great addition with Ed playing a very “modern” solo on the blues, “Ease It”.

3) Jim Hall – Jim Hall Live: This is “the” modern jazz guitar trio bible. It was and still remains one of the most influential modern jazz guitar trio recordings. The interplay on this of the highest level and this way of playing is influenced by the Bill Evans Trio. Jim takes lots of chances and they even drop a few beats on a couple of tunes (check out the liner notes) but the playing is great. It was recorded live in Toronto at Bourbon Street in 1975. Even though they recorded the whole week only six tracks were included in the original release. Thirty seven years later in 2012 three more CD’s were released from that week. So many people agree that this is Jim Hall at his best.

4) Miles Davis – Kind of Blue: This is one of the most influential jazz recordings of all time, very important, not only to many jazz musicians, but to musicians from other styles as well. Every member of this group has been an innovator in the development of jazz. For me the modal aspect (fewer chord changes than bebop) made it easier to listen to than some other jazz recordings.This made it a great album for helping me gain an understanding and appreciation of jazz in general. A must for anyone just starting to play jazz on any instrument.

5) Glenn Gould – The Goldberg Variations 1981:
Some say J.S. Bach was the first jazz musician. The way his melodies outline harmony is very similar to the way jazz lines outline harmony. Also the voice leading is incredible. I go through periods where I listen to this recording a lot.
The slower moving pieces are incredible and Glenn Gould plays with such emotion, it’s very inspiring listening to such great music.

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2 Comments

    • Thanks for dropping by Dom and for the great comment. I’ll make sure to tell Greg that you dropped by 🙂

      Take care and all the best.

      Lyle – Jazz Guitar Life

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