Larry Tamanini – 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 Larry Tamanini 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 🙂


1) Wes Montgomery: Down Here On The Ground – This was the record that got me hooked on jazz guitar and has some of my favorite Wes tunes “Up and at it” and “The Other Man’s Grass Is Always Greener” are masterful performances. This record also features Wes accompanied by Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Grady Tate with beautiful orchestral arrangements by Don Sebesky. This album was CTI before CTI!!

2) Willis Jackson: Bar Wars – I love Willis and he had a the real boss Philly tenor sound. I love this record for Pat Martino, Pat is in rare form in this mid 70’s release and his tone and swing are unmatched. Switching from hard swingin’ bebop to soulful blues mixed in with crazy octave displacement licks, Pat is on fire and it always helps having Idris Muhammad, Charles Earland, and Buddy Caldwell to round out the band. This album has everything you need to know about Philly Jazz guitar.

3) Pat Metheny: Bright Size Life – is to me a perfect LP and changed the game for a jazz guitar trio. I don’t know what you can say about this album that hasn’t been said before it still sounds as fresh to me know as it did when I first heard and the compositions are just killler. I wish this band had recorded more music.

4) Bireli Lagrene Trio: Live in Marciac – Another special record that I heard on the radio in 1995 and waited in the car until the DJ announced who it was. I immediately went to my local record store and waited the mandatory week or two for shipping and this CD is still in my car 25 years later. A boss live performance from an electric BL and Andre Ciccarelli on drums and a young Chris Minh-Doky on bass. Years later I discovered the live tracks on YouTube and it’s always a treat to revisit this disc.

5) Lee Morgan: The Procrastinator – This is the quintessential Blue Note album featruing a Hall Of Fame line-up and has some of Lee and Wayne’s finest moments. Every song on this album is super burning, even the slow tunes like “Rio” and “Dear Sir”. I also think Herbie steals the show with his incredible comping and the only thing missing from this album is a guitar. You can never have too many Lee Morgan albums!

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About Lyle Robinson 347 Articles
Lyle Robinson is the owner/creator/publisher and editor of Jazz Guitar Life, an online magazine dedicated to the Jazz Guitar and its community of fine players worldwide.


  1. Hey, Larry, thanks a lot – very good reasons for mentioning these LPs. No.2&3 are actually my picks as well. I would add Pat Martino’s El Hombre as well.

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