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Watch the Pass the Blues online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know

I bought Joe Pass and Herb Ellis' quartet record Concord/Jazz my freshman year of college, which means it formed part of my basic aesthetic DNA, along with Mike Bloomfield’s Between the Hard Place and the Ground, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and my impeccably cool housemate’s collection of Delmark, JSP and Alligator blues LPs. So much so that when, a couple of years later, a roommate of mine got a reel-to-reel and we figured out how to run off half-speed, octave-down copies of our favorite records, "Good News Blues" was the first thing I took and transcribed, using brute force and sheer determination to get all five choruses of Joe Pass’ solo down on paper.

Since then, I will admit, I have had a tendency to forget how amazing Pass is. I love his duets with Ella Fitzgerald, and I heretically find I generally have better things to do than listen to his solo Virtuoso recordings, but whenever I put him on in a band setting playing the blues I’m floored all over by the clarity of his sound and ideas.

As my buddy Bret says, "his lines sound like he’s worked out every last detail - but he hasn’t worked out anything."

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