Watch acclaimed guitarist and educator Terrence Brewer as he explains and plays the history of jazz guitar. From innovators like Charlie Christian to legends like Les Paul to groundbreakers like Pat Metheny, the guitar has played a central role in rhythm sections, for soloists and for headliners in the ever-evolving world of jazz music.
Recently proclaimed by longtime music scribe David Becker (San Francisco Examiner / AXS.com) as the San Francisco Bay Area’s top jazz guitarist, Terrence Brewer is a first-call and in-demand bandleader, record producer, concert performer and studio musician and one of the Bay Area’s foremost and sought-after music educators. Brewer has produced and released 10 nationally acclaimed albums.
Read below for a full transcript of the conversation.
Steve Rinehart - A quick housekeeping note, you're welcome to submit questions during the discussion, and to submit a question please use the Q and A icon at the bottom of the screen. We'll try to answer as many questions live during the discussion. And for those of you, this is also being recorded and the replay will be available on the First Republic website. With that I'll turn it over to David and please take it away, have a great evening.
David Miller - Thank you very much Steve, I'm David Miller, the executive director of Stanford Jazz Workshop. And for nearly 50 years we've provided jazz education programs for students ages 12 through adults, and presented the Annual Stanford Jazz Festival which features dozens of concerts celebrating jazz music and all of its forms. And Terrence has been one of our most valuable faculty members for over a decade. When the pandemic hit last year, like the rest of the world, we shifted to online programs and Terrence was one of our first online faculty members who prepared some outstanding programs in jazz history, and has taught online courses through the summer and throughout the school year, this year. Now, we're like the rest of the world, cautiously planning on reopening and we'll have both online and in-person programs this summer. But we all know that the online world is here to stay. So, I'm delighted to welcome our presenter tonight. Terrence is like I say, a wonderful member of our faculty, as an aspiring guitarist myself I'm excited to see what he has to teach us, and please join me in welcoming Terrence Brewer.
Terrence Brewer - Thank you for the welcome. I appreciate it both to Steve and of course, to David. My name is Terrence Brewer and just as we're getting started a few things I'm going to go through and talk about this presentation. You'll hear a lot of audio, you'll see a lot of video of the different performers that we're talking about throughout the years. And then we'll leave the last 10, 15 minutes or so for Q and A. So, as I'm going along if you have questions, make sure that you're writing those questions down, or kind of jot them down to yourself and so that we can get to them at the end. This is just so as a note, this is a program that actually I've condensed down to this 40 minutes for us. This is actually a course that I teach that's a year long course, and I've done it in a semester long and year long formats. So, it's packed with a lot of information. So, I'm going to give you a little bit of the abridged version, a little bit of the cliff notes version of this as we go through, but there's lots of great information I'll have. I'm going to use PowerPoint here, so there's lots of notes you'll be able to see and links to various websites and such. So, the guitar in general, very iconic, certainly iconic in terms of the world as we know it in the modern sense, in the modern society. The guitar and American culture are inextricably linked in so many different ways, and how did we get to that place? And certainly when you talk about a genre like jazz or any of the other improvised musics that come out of the black American, African-American musical experience, where did it start? How did we get to that place and where is it going, moving forward? We're going to talk about a little bit of all that. So, one of the things to keep in mind as we start is that string instruments have been a part of and are a part of just about every world culture throughout time and history.
You'll find string instruments, instruments that use some kind of stringing mechanism all around the world. Really here in the United States, of course, our lineage really comes from two places, it comes from Western Europe, And so you can think of, the lute, the classical guitar before that the lute, and the lute comes from the oud which is an instrument from the ancient Middle East. But there were string instruments in China that made their way along the Silk Road in the 1100s, 1200s in that neighborhood. You have string instruments that came out of Africa that made their way across the Atlantic. As we're thinking about the slave trade and trans migration of folks that were brought from the West and North of Africa to this country. In the United States a lot of the earliest versions of what we thought of as the guitar, these string instruments were banjos, Really were instruments that were more derived from the African instrument, which was essentially an instrument that had a drum, had a skin head like a drum, and then strings across it. And so, these early stylings were on the banjo for many reasons. One, that was an instrument that was much more common, two, it was really loud. So, as you begin to mix the the banjo and other string instruments out of the European African traditions with horns, military band, marching instruments, trumpets, saxophones, things of that nature, the guitar was not really a part of the plan at this point because the guitar is much more of a quiet instrument. If you've ever tried to play an acoustic guitar next to a saxophone player, it's nearly impossible. The banjo was this very loud, very resonant, very cutting instrument. So, the early origins of what we think of as jazz guitar actually stem from the banjo. In these early recordings, there was a mix of things going on in the late 19th century. Late 1800s, early 1900s, you had a mix of all different types of music. You had a mix of ragtime, you had a mix of early blues, remember ragtime is a style of music that it was given the name because of the ragged or syncopated time that was involved as the musicians were playing. It was mostly a style that was played on the piano.
However, in a lot of early recordings, a lot of early performances, you'll hear ragtime actually being played on the guitar as well, a very similar style. And we know that this ragged approach, or this ragged approach to playing the syncopated approach mixed with the blues is some of the earliest ways that the idea of the genre jazz that we know now was created, it was a mixing of these things. However, at the same time you had other styles, around this time in the late 1800s, early 1900s, Hawaiian music was large in this country, was huge, it was very commercially successful. And you had this heavy influence of Hawaiian musical stylings. You mix that with European American country music or folk music. And you mix those two together and we get this interesting combination that's happening, Like this, you talk about a melting pot, this time in history for the guitar or string instruments was really that. You had ragtime, you had country, you had folk music, you had European marching style music and European folk music, but you also had Afro African and Afro Caribbean music influences. So, early on you had a wide variety of things that were happening, but the seeds of what would become jazz and jazz guitar were certainly there being planted. Ragtime had a big part of that, the blues obviously played a big part in that as well, but we hear this with like Hawaiian music as well. We hear the influence of the lap steel guitar or that sort of slide steel guitar. And country music today still shares a lot of those ancestral traits that trickle down from this time in history. Right around 1910, 1920, you begin to have these branches that break off. And really the branches that will become jazz was pushed forward by folks like Lonnie Johnson, folks like Eddie Lang and Carl Kress.
Lonnie Johnson was much more of a blues player. I'm going to play a little a bit of audio from Lonnie in a few seconds here. But Lonnie was more of a blues player but played in that early, we'll call it swing style, And that early style that would set up what would eventually become what we think of as swing, or jazz, or swung eighth notes style. You have folks like Eddie Lang who were these technical virtuosos and played a lot of music. And it was a mix of like European classical music and folk music, and some of that ragtime style. And you will hear these players, again, this is before amplification, this is before microphones were in regular use so this was all acoustic. So, these were mostly on banjos and or loud guitars. And you have players like Carl Kress who really began to push forward this idea of the guitar as a lead instrument, as opposed to a background instrument, or a rhythm instrument. So, let's take a little bit of a listen here to Lonnie Johnson. And this is a recording that actually features a Louis Armstrong. So, what you're going to hear, is you'll hear Louis Armstrong signature voice, signature sound, and the guitar player that's playing with him is Lonnie Johnson. So, what you will hear is this combination of early New Orleans style traditional jazz, the syncopated swung feel, you'll hear the blues, you'll hear a little bit of that ragtime feel and all these things mixed in together. So, here's a little bit of Lonnie Johnson and Louis Armstrong in his Hot Five with a piece called "Hotter Than Hot." And I'm about halfway into it so that you can hear the interaction between Louis Armstrong and Lonnie Johnson.
So, there again, we hear that great vocal stylings, the great scat singing vocal stylings of Louis Armstrong mixed with the blues jazz guitar playing, the early blues jazz guitar playing of Lonnie Johnson. And this was once again, a fascinating time in the history of what we think of as the guitar, because you could hear there that Lonnie Johnson was playing this style that was very much rooted in rhythm, very much rooted in accompaniment, but then occasionally he would branch off and play these little, what we call single note lines or lines that mimic what horn players play. Trumpet players, saxophonist, trombonist, and even someone like Louis Armstrong with the vocal scat. So, now we're going to bring in this idea of the blues, of ragtime, of European folk music, of African, Northwest, Western African scales like the pentatonic scale. We put these things all in the pot, we start to mix them together. And then you have someone that steps forward like Louis Armstrong, who takes improvisation and the idea of a single melodic line with the voice and with his trumpet even further. And horn players, they imitate this, but so two guitar players. But at the time, remember a guitar player still really couldn't be heard in the band. The change of course, came in the twenties when we had the first electric guitar recordings, we had the first sets of amplified guitars. we started to see microphones being used with guitar players to be able to be heard amongst a six, seven, eight or 20 piece band when you think about swing era bands. So, a change in terms of technology, the technology that guitar players could access.
And this evolution of the single note improvise line that we would come to think of as jazz, as bebop, becomes a major part of the expression of these musicians. Really, when we talk about the father, or grandfather, or great-grandfather, however you want to, whatever generational lineage you want to use, we talk about Charlie Christian. And Charlie Christian was really the first amplified guitar player to be a virtuoso style player and really pushed the guitar into the forefront. So, Charlie Christian, unlike all those people that I mentioned before, Eddie Lang, Carl Kress, Lonnie Johnson, Charlie Christian grew up exclusively playing electric guitar. And he grew up exclusively playing electric guitar in a single note line style like a horn player. So, this is the first time we really see, the first iteration we see of a guitar player who is electric only, and who is also focused on this idea of playing single note lines, not just playing , chords, underneath the band, as people are dancing, or as a part of what we call the rhythm section with the bass, and the drums, and the piano. And Charlie Christian was advanced, he was a child prodigy, he was superiorly talented in so many ways. He had advanced harmonic sophistication virtuoso technique, and he came about in the late '20s, early '30s and he was a young man, but he was immensely talented. He connected with Johnny Hammond who introduced him to Benny Goodman. He became a mainstay in Benny Goodman's band. Benny Goodman had this national radio show and that really catapulted Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian to national fame. And you would hear now all of a sudden we had precedents for a guitar player playing in an electric style, and playing to be heard on the same volume level, in the same intensity as a horn player. Before this guitar players were way in the back. I'm going to play a little bit for you of Charlie Christian. Now keep in mind, Charlie Christian unfortunately passed at a very young age.
And he passed away right as traditional early New Orleans style jazz and blues was evolve and swing music, that's what was happening in the teens and '20s, early '30s, as that was evolving into the next branch on this tree, which would be bebop. And when we talk about bebop, we talk about players like Charlie Parker, like Miles Davis, like Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, folks of that of that sort of ilk. Now, Charlie Christian was a part of that early. He was one of the first folks to really be playing in this style of bebop, but he passed away right as the turning point was happening and bebop was becoming a known quantity, in terms of a genre of music. We're going to listen to a little bit of Charlie Christian here and we're going to listen to him with the Benny Goodman Sextet. And this is the piece called "Seven Come Eleven". Now, when we think about what we just heard, Louis Armstrong and Lonnie Johnson, that kind of ragtime, blues, styling of the guitar mixed with Louis Armstrong's scat vocals. And when you hear Charlie Christian, what you're going to hear is a leap forward in evolution in terms of stylistic approach. Charlie Christian takes a big jump forward in terms of his approach to single note improvisation, his creativity, his technique, his technical facility on the instrument. And the way that he approached harmony was really very advanced for the time. So, here's a little bit of Charlie Christian with "Seven Come Eleven". And here's Charlie Christian Solo. So, there's a little bit of the great and powerful Charlie Christian. Just playing in such, if you heard that today, most jazz guitar players today, if they could play like Charlie Christian even today, they'd be more than happy to do so. Fluid lines, immensely precise technique, really really creative harmony. And this, again, was at the birth of what we call bebop.
And when we think about bebop, we think about New York City, we think about Manhattan, we think about all the great clubs up in Harlem, throughout the Harlem Renaissance, in the '30s and into the '40s we think about these late night jam sessions. And people literally playing til four, or five, six o'clock in the morning, and then going to breakfast having breakfast and continuing to play music throughout the day until they did it that night all over again. And as we move forward and think about the next evolution of players, once bebop becomes established as a genre and bebop really takes that next step forward in terms of pushing the tempo, and the harmonic approach in the skill level, we have a lot of great guitar players who take the reins. Charlie Christian has passed away, and now you have folks like Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Oscar Moore, Charlie Bird, lots of great Tiny Grimes, lots of great players who are bebop players, who are specifically electric guitar playing, single note melody line playing guitar players, They're not players who will play just rhythmic accompaniment in the background to support a band, they're really out front much like a tenor saxophone, a trumpet, or even the voice would be. We'll watch a little bit of a video here. And this is the part of the series that I'm sure had something to do with the connection with Concord Records in Concord, California. Concord records is a longstanding jazz record label here in the San Francisco Bay Area. And they had these really great records called the Great Guitars, and they would feature three guitar players and a rhythm section. And this is the video. And the video of course is not from the '40s or the '50s, this is a more modern video, but two of the guys you're going to see in this video, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis, both played with Charlie Parker in the '40s.
And so they really are a connection, a direct connection to bebop, a direct connection to the earliest seedlings of what we call jazz guitar today, or bebop guitar, but specifically jazz guitar. So, here's a little bit of the great guitars. And again, this features Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, and Charlie Bird. So, you have Charlie Bird, who's all the way to the left, Herb Ellis is in the middle, and Barney Kessel to the right. So, that's a little bit of the great guitars. You mostly heard Herb Ellis there performing, one of my favorite guitar players and someone who really, really combined that fluid bebop style with the blues really well. Herb Ellis was originally from Texas and had a lot of that down-home Texas blues feel and styling to his playing. Barney Kessel actually was from Oklahoma as well, and so it was Charlie Christian. So, you could see a lot of representation in the early stages of bebop in this music from the Midwest and the South in terms of those places. Now, as we move forward and we think about the next iterations, we have to give a little bit of conversation to the idea that the amplification of the guitar and the electric component, the technology, really played a huge part. It set the guitar free and really allowed the guitar to become whatever it wanted to be. So, as we move into the '40s, late '40s into the '50s, what you'll notice is that the guitar begins to branch off in all these different interesting ways. And one of the first variances that we're going to see here and that we're going to talk about is the great Django Reinhardt. and Django, he was many, many things. He was technically proficient. He was a child prodigy growing up in this nomadic culture outside of Paris in these nomadic tribes and moved in and around that side of Paris. And he grew up as a European musician who loved and played, listened to and loved playing black American music. Specifically the blues, specifically jazz. He grew up listening to Charlie Christian, he grew up listening to Lonnie Johnson, he grew up listening to Coleman Hawkins a great tenor saxophonist.
So, then what you have now, and as a result of, which are other longer conversations, as a result of trans continental travel via World War I and via World War II, this American creation that we think of as blues and jazz and music of then, bebop, music of that nature, was now an export for the first time. And was being taken to American army bases, and military bases all throughout Europe, in the World War I and the World War II, and really ushered in the idea of jazz becoming and being this sort of worldwide music and worldwide phenomenon that we know it to be today. And so, Django was one of these early versions of what we see here as a European musician, someone who's playing music from their own cultural identity. He's playing folk music out of his own tradition and in a style that's very European. These European string bands, which often had a double bass, two or three guitar players and a violin. But playing improvised music, playing jazz, playing in a style that was associated up to this point with specifically, African-American musicians in the United States, playing blues, playing swing, playing bebop. And Django right from the beginning was as a sensation. He's an amazing player, he has a tremendous story, when he was young, he'd been playing an instrument since he was young and playing professionally since he was like nine or 10 years old. Everyone in his family played. He was from this culture of travelers who they played together every day, and they sang, and they danced, and they created music, and this is how they lived. So, Django grew up playing music from a very young age. When he was in his late teens there was a fire in his caravan and he was severely burned. And one of the things you'll notice about Django is that on his left hand, which is his fretting hand, the hand that moves around quickly to make all the notes. Two of his fingers were fused together. And so essentially he does all of this profoundly astonishing work that he does on the guitar with basically two fingers. And he could play some chords but mostly a single note line. But the coolest thing about to me about Django, one of the coolest things is that he wrote a lot of his own music and it came from the tradition, sort of that European traveling nomadic folk tradition that he came from, but you can hear so much jazz in there.
You can hear Charlie Christian, you can hear Coleman Hawkins, you can hear the blues. And you hear the beauty of what improvised music does. The reason improvised musical never die is because it continues to evolve and adapt. And you'll see that throughout this entire presentation where the guitar, through the lens of jazz, and improvise music, a music that's made up on the spot, in the moment using the tools and instruments that you have. You can see that Django is able to completely be himself yet represent this genre so well. So, we're going to watch a little bit of a video from 1945 of Django, and his brother is one of the guitar players, the great Stephane Grappelli is the violinist. And you'll get to hear and see the legend that is Django Reinhardt, and here his stylistic approach which really does a beautiful job of blending his own European musical tradition with what was happening in the States in terms of blues, in terms of jazz, in terms of bebop. So, here's Django Reinhardt, let me pull this one up for you. All right, here we go. That is Django himself. So, that's a little bit of the great and powerful Django Reinhardt. And again, you can hear those influences that are based in this music that we know as jazz, this music that we know as swing, this music we know as bebop and even the blues, but on a much more European based folk style harmony. Very different than the bebop harmony and the blues harmony that had developed here in the states. And again, as I mentioned, one of the great things, one of the beautiful things about amplifying music now although you saw Django's band playing completely acoustic, one of the beautiful things about the amplification of the music of course, is that it set the instrument free. So, now as we move into the '40s and '50s, early and mid '50s, the guitar can become whatever it wants. If you want to be a lead player like a Charlie Christian or Herb Ellis, and play these single note lines sort of note for note with horn players, saxophonists, trumpet players, et cetera, you can. If you want to be a chord player like Freddie Green who played with the Count Basie band for 50 years. And I don't think took one solo with the Count Basie band, maybe one in the 50 year history.
He just sat back there playing chords, all day, all night, every day, every night, if you wanted to be that kind of player, you could. You also hear guitars to began to continue this tradition that never went away but sort of subsided somewhat with the advent of, and the branching off of bebop and the single note line approach. Continually you've always had guitar players who have played in the style of the guitar that came from Europe, Which is this very, almost thinking of the guitar as a piano. Chords, single note lines, point and counterpoint, two and three voicings moving independently from one another. So, you had these, what I call the chordal stylists, the folks who continued in that tradition that was very heavily steeped not in single note line playing like a horn player, like Charlie Christian, or Django, but much more focused on playing chord harmony and creating these really luscious, and beautiful melodies that were supported by these really amazing chord structures underneath and these moving lines. And no one did that better than Joe Pass. Joe Pass is I would say hands down known as the greatest, if not one of the greatest solo jazz guitar players of all time. And if he's not the greatest, it's only because there was a Joe Pass that someone could come along later and emulate. And we have lots of great players today who can play solo guitar. But Joe Pass, there's only one Joe Pass. And what he did for the instrument in terms of the sheer beauty of what a guitar could do in terms of playing these chordal tunes was really amazing. And he redefined the genre of solo guitar in a way that no one else had, and he broke through at a time when so much of the focus had been on those single note out front, want to be heard instead of just felt guitar players like Charlie Christian, et cetera. We're going to watch a little bit of a video here on Joe Pass and as we're listening to him play and watching him move around, he's this beautiful mix of bebop, and the blues, with some really intensely deep harmonic chord understanding. And his approach to what we call moving inner voices, Which are you have the melody notes, you have the bass notes, and then in between you have all these other notes that fill out the harmony. And Joe Pass's ability to be able to move through that harmony and move around that harmony with keeping the melody on top, and the bass notes on the bottom is really profound and something that jazz guitarist, and guitarists of all stylings continue to seek to emulate and all wish that we could do at the level at which he did it.
And so, here's a little bit of the great Joe Pass playing a classic tune written by Fats Waller entitled "Ain't Misbehaving." So, here's a little bit of the great Joe Pass. The great Joe Pass don't mind me, I could get wrapped up watching Joe Pass. I could get wrapped up in watching Joe Pass forever. He is one of my absolute favorite musicians of all time. And you can hear they're one person sounding like three people at least, and that is the great Joe Pass. Along a similar line and in a similar way, as we start to move through bebop into what we call hard bop. And hard bop was this evolution, this branch of bebop that really used gospel music, used soul, used the blues, but also used jazz as a component. So, it wasn't just about pushing these tempos forward as bebop had really strived to do, it was really more about these other forms of improvised music that were such an integral parts of the culture. Again, gospel, blues, soul, soul jazz and things of that nature. What you'll hear in the next player and a lot of players that come through the hard bop era, which is early to mid '50s into the early '60s, is this mixing now of free jazz, of Avant Garde jazz. This mixing of players who are starting to push the harmonic envelope even further. And of course the guitar would continue to be a part of that. And as a nice counterbalance to Joe Pass, I'm going to show a little bit of a video here of the great Jim Hall. And Jim Hall is known for many, many things, tremendous player, great architect of the music, known for being on one of the greatest jazz albums of all times, Sonny Rollins, "The Bridge," and being the guitar player on that record in the '60s. But the one thing that Jim Hall did is his style and approach of playing jazz guitar, the way he played his single note lines and the way he played his chords takes us in this next evolutionary step towards modern day, postmodern jazz guitar. Where it mixes the avant-garde, with blues, with some classical underpinnings, like Bill Evans like the pianist Bill Evans would do.
And his approach wasn't like Joe Pass, like we just heard in terms of playing bass, melody, and filling chords in the middle, it really was this very sinewy upper harmony based approach really where each one of his solos became like a mini composition in and of itself. And he was always blending these single note lines with chords, but as the leader of a group. And so, what you hear and see in this video is this is a really great example of the guitar player, of a jazz guitar player being the leader of a band being accompanied by a bass player and a drummer. And so, what that does with no other chord instrument like a piano and no other horn players is it allows the guitar player to play single note lines, and chords in any way, shape or form that they so choose. And Jim Hall really excelled at this because he was really great at mixing those single note lines in this really beautiful way with the chord harmony that he would play. So, here's a little bit of Jim Hall live in 1964. So, there's a little bit of the great Jim Hall. And again, a very different style and approach but that freedom to now play harmony and melody in a really unique and interesting way, in a way that feels very genuine to the player, guitar players were no longer restricted. We can't move forward, we can't talk about modern day jazz guitar without talking about the person who is probably the biggest star in in the jazz world in terms of the guitar and someone who's really sort of credited for modern jazz guitar players sounding the way they do, and that's the great Wes Montgomery. And West has a unique story. A few of the things to think about West is that this is someone who had two brothers, also Buddy Montgomery and Monk Montgomery who are tremendous musicians as well, one's a bass player, one's a pianist and vibraphonists. And Wes Montgomery lived an interesting life. He did not live the typical musician life where he was playing professionally since he was young and on the road from a very young age. Wes Montgomery was a family man.
He had seven kids, he worked as a machinist, up until he was almost 30 years old. And he was discovered, really, he's from Indianapolis. And his brothers were out on the road, Buddy and Monk Montgomery, and West went on the road when he was in his 20s, but he didn't like it. And he had already had a wife and a couple of kids. And so he just stayed at home and he would play out at clubs just about every night about he didn't travel. That really wasn't his scene, until the great Cannonball Adderley, saxophonist Cannonball Adderley introduced him to Orrin Keepnews and said, "You have to hear this guy, he's probably the greatest guitar player I've ever heard and one of the most amazing musicians," and that as they say, the rest is history. And West's approach, so, West came onto the recording scene fully formed, he was 30 years old or so, he'd been playing for a long time. And there's only one Wes Montgomery, no one else sounds like West, no one else plays like West. He very uniquely plays not with the pick like you would see with a lot of guitar players or with his fingers like we saw a Jill Pass, but he played with just his thumb. And West's approach to harmony, his approach to technique, and his technical ability is unsurpassed. He was so fluid on the instrument and had such a unique sound and approach in every facet of the instrument. He was self-taught mostly and he was inspired by Charlie Christian, he was inspired by Django, he was inspired by horn players, remember now, by the time West comes on the scene we've had a generation and a half of electric guitar players for him to listen to. And so, he becomes that next logical iteration of jazz guitar. So, we're going to watch a little bit of a video of Wes Montgomery playing an original composition of his entitled twisted blues. So, here's a little bit of the great Wes Montgomery. I'm going to skip forward a little bit to West's guitar solo. The great Wes Montgomery. Now, it is always the interesting thing when I teach this course, is once I get to this part of jazz guitar history it becomes really fascinating because now we see this this ascension of so many amazing guitar players, folks like Grant Green, Kenny Burrell as sort of like post bebop players.
But then rock and roll, The Who, Pink Floyd Jimi Hendrix, distorted amplification, the idea of using effects, wah-wah pedals, things of that nature. So technology, once again shows itself to be a huge part of the guitar's evolution. And we see that with the fusing guitar players of the 60s who really bridge jazz, blues, bebop, with rock and roll. Folks like John McGlaughlin, folks like Pat Matheeney, eventually folks like the great John Scofield as well. So, we have these fusion guitar players who in the late '60s and '70s are blending together many of these different styles. Probably the most well-known of those post bebop players would be Pat Matheeney. He played free jazz with Ornette Coleman, he played more pop stuff with Bruce Hornsby, he played with Joni Mitchell, recorded albums with the immensely talented Jaco Pistorious, basis Jaco Pistorious, and is really one of the preeminent modern jazz guitarists. But the beautiful thing about modern jazz guitar is it's a little bit of everything. It's a little bit folk, and it's a little bit funk, and a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit bebop and swing, so you have all these things now under the umbrella of what we call jazz guitar. And this one of the beautiful things I love about the guitar is that it can do anything. The guitar can be quiet, and contemplative, and it can play classical music, it can play folk music and pop music, it can be over driven, and distorted and very loud, and it can be a little bit of all those things. So, we have folks like John Scofield who play with Miles Davis Mike Stern who plays with Miles Davis, who, again, were more of blues, rock influenced guitar players in the '70s and '80s, as we were continuing to bridge the gap with jazz and popular music at the time. Then you have folks like Bill Frisell, who is this really esoteric, very much a unique stylist in terms of the effects that he uses in his approach to harmony. A lot of close sounding harmony, close quartered harmony. So, he has this really angular and at times just very dissonant style to his playing, but really, really unique. Really like he's painting pictures like a painter would on a canvas with the sound and the guitar and the effects that he uses. And then of course we have the next generation. We have folks at Kurt Rosenwinkel, Wayne Krantz, Ben Mondor, Julian Lage, Oz Noy, Charlie Hunter, and the list goes on and on. I'm going to leave you before we get to the Q and A with one last video. And this video actually is of Julian Lage, And Julian Lage is a contemporary, he's a friend of mine. He's a cat who was a child prodigy growing up and came up first in his teens as a straight ahead jazz guitarist. Went to Berkeley College Of Music, started studying all different styles of music, classical music, things of that nature, and really became someone who embodied the combination of neoclassical stylings with jazz, with bebop, with the blues, with rock and roll. And he's a really great example of the prototypical modern day jazz guitarist who has so many different influences and you hear those influences come out. So, we'll watch a little bit of Julian Lage and then we'll jump into the Q and A. So, the great Julian Lage rounding out and concluding our time here today for the presentation. I hope you've enjoyed it, again, it's always super fun, of course, for me to teach this and bring this presentation. I feel like a little bit of a speed demon at times because I'm trying to get a lot of information out but I hope you've enjoyed it, I love doing this presentation more than anything. Whenever I get in front of people and I'm able to talk about the music and the main thing I want to do is inspire people. So, I hope you're all inspired to go listen to music. If you play music, I hope you're inspired to go practice. And that's, really, my intent every single time is just to get people fired up about music and whatever exactly we're talking about in the moment. So, I hope you get the chance to go out and listen to as many of those jazz guitarists than we've talked about today. All right Q and A
David - Terrence, thank you so much. Just a little plug, Julian Lage came to Stanford Jazz when he was 14 as a student. So, he's been part of our community as long as you have, I think. Carol asks, are there women known for jazz guitar? Any female guitarist that you'd to recommend?
Terrence - Yeah absolutely, Emily Remler is one of my favorite jazz guitarists of all time period. And Emily Remler is someone who studied with Wes, a little bit with Wes Montgomery. And is a tremendous player late '70s through the early '80s. Great player and of course right now here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also nationally and internationally, we have Mimi Fox. And Mimi Fox studied with Joe Pass and some of the other greats and is profoundly known as one of the the best jazz guitarist on the planet at this moment and still out and around, I just saw a feature article on Mimi Fox and acoustic guitar player magazine for a new solo guitar record that she put out, I think right at the beginning of COVID in the lockdown period. And so, she's got a really great solo jazz record that she plays on a custom tailor guitar that they built for her. So, those are the two that first come to mind. And there are certainly some others along the way, but I'm always trying to get more women into playing guitar period, but then also playing jazz guitar as well.
David - Who would you say Terrence are your greatest inspiration or maybe your first inspiration when you first picked up a guitar?
Terrence - Yeah, it's interesting, I have a little bit of an interesting story. I actually started as a woodwind player, so, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and did that stuff through middle school, high school, and actually went to college as a woodwind major first. But I started playing guitar like a lot of teenagers when I was about 16 years old, because of Jimmy Hendrix, The Who, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. And at the time, I'm going to date myself here, at the time, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, Guns N' Roses, so that's what drew me to the guitar. I didn't really know about jazz guitar when I was in my teens. It wasn't until I went to college as a woodwind major playing jazz and classical music that I really heard jazz guitar on a deeper level and just fell in love with it. And ended up switching my major to guitar performance and studying classical and jazz guitar as well. So, for me in terms of the guitar it was rock guitar players and blues and funk guitar players, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and folks like that who drew me to that instrument. But outside of that, I think of myself just as a musician. So, I was drawn to great composers in jazz like Duke Ellington and Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock and folks like that. And I always tell people, and it may sound cliche, but it's really not, it's very genuine. Like my favorite artists are literally the ones that I'm listening to at that moment. Like, I'm that person, I love so many different styles of music. I get wrapped up in whatever it is that I'm at the moment which for me lately has been a lot of electronic music, a lot of hip hop, a lot of electronic R&B, things of that nature. A lot of folks who combine like Terrace Martin who did a lot of production work for Kendrick Lamar, the great hip hop artist, Kendrick Lamar, and Kamasi Washington, folks like that who are bridging music that is deeply rooted in us as players, in terms of jazz, blues, funk, things like that. But with hip hop with electronica, with modern music. So, I just get inspired in the moment and I go with what's the inspiration at the time and try to absorb as much as I can.
David - Another question about when live performances open up again, who'd you go see, who's a jazz guitarist in the Bay Area here who you'd like to go see in person.
Terrence - Well, you can come see me , I'm certainly around the San Francisco Bay Area, but again, folks like Mimi Fox that I mentioned, one of my heroes and one of my mentors the great Calvin Keys. Calvin Keys has been around for such a long time now, since the sixties making music. He actually played on the "MASH" soundtrack. If you remember the TV show "MASH", again, little I'm dating myself, I was a young kid when that was out. But folks like Calvin Keys are still around as jazz guitarists. Julian Lage, I think Julian's in New York now but he still tours and travels around. There's a long list, folks like Charlie Hunter, who's originally from the Bay Area who still performing tremendously well and around the scene. And when things open back up he'd be another great person to check out.
David - Where do you like to go? Or what would be a jazz club either here or maybe elsewhere that you'd recommend or is a good place, either as a performer or an audience member.
Terrence - Yeah, it's interesting because the one thing about venues is they're ever changing. That's the one thing you can count on, venues close and venues open. Certainly here in the Bay Area, we think of Stanford Jazz and Stanford Jazz Workshop, and all the great programming that Stanford does down particularly like in the peninsula area of the Bay Area, there's SF Jazz, and the Jazz Center, there's Yoshi still. And in New York there's constantly clubs that are around Birdland and things of that nature. And some of those places have managed to hang on during COVID times. It'll be interesting as things opened back up, what places are still around, what new places pop up. But the other thing I would say has been growing continually in the last 10 years or so, and it's one of my favorite things to do is to play house concerts. And there's a lot of them in every neck of the woods, wherever you are, where folks open their homes and have these live performances. So, you can come in and hear someone like a Julian Lage, someone like myself in a room with like 25 other people, just sitting right there, very intimately. And now, even as things are opening back up some of these house concerts are turning into backyard house concerts. I'm doing a few coming up here in the next month or two. And so, I love the intimacy of the house concerts, they feel really great to me. I love being in that intimate space with people. Don't get me wrong, I love playing larger clubs 100 seats, 200, 500, whatever. But there's something really amazing about being that close to people and being able to look them directly in the eyes and have that connection as you're playing this music that's very, very in the moment.
David - Christina asked a question about Stanley Jordan. He's a unique player and who is he emulating if anyone?
Terrence - Yeah, that's a good question, And I also just want to say, I want to be mindful of time and everyone's time, including my own. So, I don't know how much longer you want to go in the Q and A, David I'm happy to certainly answer a few more questions but I just want to throw that out there before I get into that-
David - I think we have time for one or two more.
Terrence - Perfect, Stanley Jordan. Stanley Jordan, if you don't know, is a player who plays multiple instruments, but he plays the guitar like a piano player. And what I mean by that is he plays the guitar in a manner where he doesn't use a left hand that frets the notes and a right hand that either strums with a pick, or picks with fingers, or like a thumb like a Wes Montgomery. really what Stanley Jordan does is he does this technique of tapping the instrument. So, on the guitar sound is created by using a finger to press down the string on a fret, and then you strike the string, and you make whatever that note is depending on how short you've made the string based on where you play it on the neck, the higher up the neck, the shorter the string, the higher the note. So, Stanley Jordan would actually do this technique where he uses two hands like a piano player on the guitar. He would literally tap these notes because you don't have to do anything to create sound on the guitar other than get the string to vibrate. And so, Stanley Jordan would use his two hands much like a piano player. So, he would play some really wild stuff in terms of music because his approach was unlike anything anyone else could do, because he was approaching the instrument in a completely new way. And Stanley's still making music, he's been in Taos, New Mexico, I think for a long time now. And occasionally, and he's in the new age, new world, the world music scene these days but a tremendous player and he still gets out and does concerts occasionally. But his approach was vastly unique and I've never really seen anyone else play like Stanley Jordan. It's a masterful approach and a very difficult approach to the instrument. And one that obviously was very unique to him.
David - Thanks, we have one last, maybe technical question that Keith asks. For a coming into jazz from rock or pop genres, what style technique exercises would you recommend to help learn how to play?
Terrence - This is actually a really common question because you get a lot of people who, forget about even the guitar for a second, you get a lot of people who come from the classical world, pianist, classical percussionist, woodwind players. In terms of guitar, you get a lot of guitar players who come from the rock world. A lot of guitar players who come from the fusion, funk, rock world. The hardest thing about jazz, the hardest thing about the dialect of jazz, because remember music is a language and jazz is simply one of the different dialects that is spoken of this music. Bach, Beethoven, Jazz Scan, Debussy, Wes Montgomery, Taylor Swift, Jimi Hendrix, they all play the same 12 notes. They're all playing Western European music harmony. So, it's literally the same 12 notes, all those people, I just mentioned, same 12 notes to pick from, why do they sound tremendously different? It's the way they speak the language. And with jazz, the biggest thing about speaking the language is playing in a swing style, playing in a jazz styling. And what I mean by that is the difference between straight eighth notes, where each note on the down upbeat is measured the same, versus jazz which is based off of a triplet field. And you take those two eighth notes and you're playing . That's the feel of jazz, that's really hard for a lot of guitar players to get. And what it takes is practice, because what you're having to do is coordinate your picking hand to not play measured, like you would in rock, or funk, or Latin music, but to play . So, there's a technique thing that's there. So, when I'm working with guitar players, particularly ones that come from rock or other styles, anything that you play in terms of single note lines, like you're playing your warmup scales or things of that nature, don't play them straight eighth, play them swung. Set a metronome and play , play with the swing style, listen to jazz guitarists, listen to horn players who play in that swing style because that's one of the most difficult things.
The notes will come, the understanding of the harmony, the depth of understanding the harmony that's required with jazz, that'll get there eventually. But you could play all the right notes you want, but if you're not speaking the language, which is playing in that swing style, it's not going to have that same feel and that same approach. And so that's one of the biggest things I would say with folks who are coming from the rock world. And then the next thing of course is understanding chord harmony, Because in jazz harmony, it's complex harmony, It's not three note harmonies like a triad, root, third, fifth, it's the seventh, it's the ninth, it's the 11th, it's the sharp nine, the flat nine, the sharp 11. So, there's a whole world of jazz chord harmony that needs to be digested in order for you to be able to speak the language first. So, just be patient with it and think of it as a journey, and think of it as learning another language, you speak rock, and roll already. It's like speaking English and then trying to learn to speak Spanish, you understand the letters, you understand you're putting them together, you make certain sounds, but to really get into those conversations requires that patients to go through the process of learning that specific dialect, that specific part of the language.
David - Well, Terrence, thank you so much for sharing the music and 100 years of jazz guitar in one hour, that was terrific. Really appreciate it. And thank you all for joining us tonight, this has been a lot of fun.
Terrence - My biggest thanks to you, David and to all the folks at First Republic, Steve and Sophia, it's been a real pleasure and I hope you all have enjoyed this. And like I said, I hope you're inspired, I hope you want to go listen to music right now, I hope you want to go practice right now, and that's what I feel like my goal is, the more people we can get listening, playing, coming out, supporting the music, the better.
David - Great, thank you very much.
Terrence - My pleasure.