Dave Kain – 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 Dave Kain 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) Brian Blade Fellowship-Perceptual: This album was introduced to me so I could check out Kurt Rosenwinkel. Turned out to be an extremely influential album in my life. It’s certainly not a “guitar” album so what I truly got from it was a much deeper love and passion for composition. Most of my study had been the typical analysis of standards when I came across this album so to hear these tunes really set me on a course to write. A LOT.  

2) Jimmy Raney Visits Paris Vol. 1: I can’t think of a more overlooked and underrated jazz guitarist than Jimmy Raney. If you know Jimmy Raney, you know. Great tone and swinging lines. This album really put down a solid foundation for me as to what a swinging guitar player should sound like.  

3) Chick Corea Elektrik Band- Beneath The Mask: This album was the first “jazz” album I bought and it was mostly because of Frank Gambale. This came out in my teenage years so I was very much in my heavy metal/shredder phase. I was getting bored with that kind of stuff and was looking for something new to get into. I listened to this album every day for months. I eventually moved onto more traditional straight ahead playing, like Jimmy Raney. I recently started listening to this album again and have a totally new found love and appreciation for it. Frank’s playing is incredible. Chick’s writing is so inspiring and then there’s the rest of the incredible musicians that played in the band. So much music on this album!

4) John Abercrombie/Marc Johnson/Peter Erskine: John’s playing has always been something I’ve really connected to and this album was big for me. The way he played so freely over tunes like Alice In Wonderland and Stella by Starlight really intrigued me and made me want to listen to this over and over again. Also, his use of effects and less traditional guitar tones on standards was something new to me that I really enjoyed.

5) Pat Metheny-Bright Size Life: I didn’t really want to include this album but Metheny was such a huge influence and this album in particular certainly was as well. So, no point fighting it as cliche as it might be. I don’t know too many guitarists of my generation who wouldn’t count this album in their lists as well. 

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About Lyle Robinson 350 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.


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