Joe Pass recorded almost exclusively for American record labels during his long career, so this 1973 studio date for BASF is a rare exception. With bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Kenny Clare's brushwork, the legendary guitarist plays a half dozen or so standards, including gently swinging takes of "Chloe" and "Stompin' at the Savoy," a soft arrangement of Jobim's Meditation," and a very lively version of "I Love You" (also featuring solos by his rhythm section). He also improvises the tasty "Joe's Blue's," plays a light samba written by the session's recording director ("El Gento"), puts some life into the normally tame 1960s pop hit "Ode to Billie Joe" by playing it in a Latin groove, and concludes with the very familiar standard from the Count Basie songbook, "Lil' Darlin'," which he must have performed hundreds of times during his career. While his playing is rather reserved compared to his later extensive recordings for Pablo, and this release is by no means near the top of the late guitarist's considerable discography as a leader or soloist, fans of Joe Pass who listen to this set won't be disappointed.
by Ken Dryden
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