Tony DiGregorio – 5 Desert Island Album Picks

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 Tony DiGregorio 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) Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France – Djangology: The twelve cuts on this LP are but a few of what I feel are some of the best, swingiest and yet, somehow most neglected of Django’s work. There is a strong Be-Bop influence in his playing here and it isn’t lost on Grappelli. It’s an incredible album and it’s only one of several as they made a lot of recordings in January and February of 1949 in Rome.

2) Eric Dolphy – Last Date: I love this album. Seemingly endless imagination. Half the album consists of Dolphy’s own compositions showing he was as brilliant a composer as he was a soloist.

3) Bix Beiderbecke – The Golden Age of Bix Beiderbecke: Bix is one of the musicians I grew up listening to along with the others on this list. Some of his finest playing can be heard here as well as the beginning the ballad in a bonafide jazz interpretation and an early example of “third stream” composition.

4) Charlie Parker – The Verve Years (1952-54): This double album is a compilation of the kind of experimentation Bird was doing near the end of his life. Big Band with chorus (Gil Evans arrangements), Big Band and strings (Joe Lippman arrangements) as well as quartet and quintet tracks. Standards including what was originally released as a Bird plays Cole Porter album, original compositions and Latin jazz from his “south of the border” experiments. Beautiful album.

5) Teddy Charles – The Teddy Charles Tentet: I love Teddy Charles. I was lucky enough to have known him and luckier still to have had the opportunity to play with him a few times. This album contains some amazing compositions and arrangements by some of the greatest players/composers/arrangers including Teddy himself. Teddy was an incredible player, a great forward thinking composer and improviser. I’m partial to the “mid-sized band”. It has the intimacy of a small group and the discipline of Big Band arranging.

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