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

Joe Pass did a lot of things really well. I’m particularly partial to the duets he recorded with Ella Fitzgerald. The two of them always seemed to pick the coolest songs, Tin Pan Alley tunes you’ve rarely if ever heard before, and the way Pass accompanies himself improvising, holding down the groove, keeping the melody in sight, yet feeling completely loose and extemporaneous, has always blown me away. And then of course, there’s his ensemble work. The guy’s a clear-cut virtuoso, evident from his earliest recordings like Catch Me on through the many, many sessions he did for Norman Granz’ Pablo label.

Having gained my first exposure to Pass through his work with fellow guitarist Herb Ellis, I’m still a sucker for their twelve-bar collaborations like "Good News Blues," "Bad News Blues" and "Guitar Blues." But there’s also nothing not to like about "Chicago Blues," a fifteen-minute live workout with one-time boss Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, "Blues For Sammy" with Brown and Milt Jackson, or "L5 Blues," a duo outing with frequent collaborator Niels Henning-Orsted Pederson.