About this course:
The guitar has been an integral instrument in jazz going back to the late 19th century when it was the musical voice of the blues. It’s an incredibly versatile instrument that can shout, whisper, swing, and rock in the hands of talented musicians like Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Bill Frisell, Barney Kessell, and Stanley Jordan. We begin with the 1930s and 1940s when Eddie Lang took the guitar from a rhythm instrument to a featured voice in bands. In the same period, Django Reinhardt, the Belgian Gypsy guitarist, created a unique sound with his Hot Club of France Quintet. Texan Charlie Christian and his electrically amplified guitar totally altered the sound and use of the guitar in jazz with a brilliance and fingering style that influences jazz guitarists today. We then move into the early 1950s to explore Les Paul’s system that allowed overdubbing and multiple voicing which again expanded the instrument. The Brazilian influenced soft Latin sound of guitarists like Laurindo Almeida and Charlie Byrd followed. The guitar became the lead voice of countless bands as well as becoming the instrument that best complemented the human voice.