Christopher Morrison: 5 Desert Island Picks – Jazz Guitar Life

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 Christopher Morrison 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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I feel that listening is a critical component of being able to play your instrument at the highest level. The more we listen to and absorb high information music, the more the best characteristics of those influences work their way into our imagination. By expanding our musical tastes and interests, we can enhance and synthesize elements of our playing in novel ways. I have been working on the following 5 recordings for a long time.

Christopher Morrison

1) Johann Sebastian Bach, Henryk Szeryng – Sontas and Partitas for Solo Violin: When I was a freshman in college, my guitar teacher, Sal Salvador, said practicing these pieces would benefit both my improvising and my technique. I have been playing and listening to them forever. I own many recordings of these pieces, the one by Szeryng was the first I purchased. That being said, my current favorite recording is Hilary Hahn’s.

2) Ludwig Van Beethoven, Emerson String Quartet – The Late String Quartets: These pieces were Beethoven’s final works. I read somewhere years ago that Mick Goodrick suggested listening to them. That was good enough for me.

3) Bela Bartok, Emerson String Quartets – 6 String Quartets: When I was in high school my Dad bought me a copy of “The Real Howard Roberts” album and I was way into it. I read a magazine article where Howard Roberts recommended listening to the Bartok quartets so I purchased this recording. I had no idea what to make of these pieces back then but I have persisted and made some progress. 🙂

4) John Coltrane – Coltrane Plays The Blues: Pianist Mike Longo used to call jazz, “Advanced Blues”. I love listening to John Coltrane on this album; so creative amd imaginative. He plays advanced blues!

5) Charlie Parker – Bird at St.Nick’s: Joe Diorio always said to listen to as much Charlie Parker as possible. Folks will complain about the bootleg sound quality and the edited performances, however I love it as it is 42 minutes of nothing but Charlie Parker.

Bonus Pick: Joe Diorio Trio – Live: Joe was my strongest influence as a jazz guitarist. I have piles of music he gave me as well as notebooks of lines we worked on together. This CD is six standards, each cut is about 10 minutes in length. Joe was a force and he had the technique to play anything he imagined. I always hear something new when I listen to this recording. I should stop typing and go practice.

Please consider spreading the word about Christopher and Jazz Guitar Life by sharing this article amongst your social media pals and please feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you 🙂

If you would like to support Jazz Guitar Life please feel free to buy me a coffee or two 🙂

About Lyle Robinson 338 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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