Jazz guitar music is certainly open to interpretation. On the one hand, we could be talking about recordings and DVDs. We could be also talking about sheet music that either presents the themes of songs or the transcribed solos. We could be arguing over what constitutes jazz guitar music and jazz guitar players. After all, not everyone agrees with the definition of jazz guitar.
For our purposes, I’m clinging to the idea that the jazz guitar and therefore its music follows a tradition of hollow body electric guitars and guitarists playing in a variety of jazz oriented styles. It’s easier to disqualify styles, guitarists and their music than it is to qualify them. For example, screaming rock and roll, searing urban blues, flashy flat picking, tasteful Bach on the classical guitar do not qualify under this category.
On the other hand, Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Bruno, Tal Farlow, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall and others certainly do qualify. There are always “fusionish” players that are hard to categorize but I’m still talking about the tradition of the jazz guitar. With all this said, we only have to search for the recordings, DVDs and sheet music of these players and we’re there.
Let’s say you want to hear or find the jazz guitar music of Jimmy Bruno. Start with JimmyBruno.com. There you should be able to hear samples, download music, see what educational things Jimmy has put together and find a discography of Jimmy’s recordings. From there, go to YouTube. There are many performance videos and educational clips up on You Tube.nTake this same approach for every jazz guitarist you want to check out. If you Google “jazz guitarists”, you’ll find lists of significant players. They are all worth investigating. You’ll gradually find your favorites