Victor E. Jurusz aka Vic Juris is one of the greatest guitar improviser of the last 30 years. He managed to stay just “under the radar” all this time but fortunately, most jazz musicians know and respect him. Vic started to play guitar around age 10, inspired by rock and roll legend Chuck Berry. He was self taught and played in many local rock and R&B bands (in his native New Jersey state) as soon as he could.
Not long after, Juris discovered jazz and classical music: from then on, it was a love for jazz that fired him up! Vic’s musical work is always impeccable: a very fluid approach to harmony and accompaniment, great writing style, a nice “blend” withing the band, phenomenal chops, unique phrasing, advanced rhythmic ideas and concepts for improvisation, etc.
It’s obvious that, even though he’s not very well know to the public, Vic’s musicianship allowed him to play with (and I should say, accompany) many great jazz artists in the late 1970’s and on.
Perhaps the most notable works of his career are with the David Liebman Group, which Vic Juris joined in 1991. This band really is incredible: it’s a “working group” which has become rare in the jazz world. I once attended their concert and they played amazingly great music: So much energy! See this page for more info on the David Liebman Group.
I personally believe that Vic Juris joining this band was probably a very important career move. It seems like he learned a lot and could (finally) contribute his immense talent and creativity to a band of other astounding players. Compositionally, in improvisation, in comping and in
“band chemistry” in general, it’s the best I’ve heard Vic play!
Oh yeah… by the way, Vic is also part of Gary Peacock’s band since 1994. That’s quite the achievement!
Vic Juris’ Top 5 Album Picks by JazzGuitarLessons.net
- Roadsong (Muse Records, 1979)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Steeplechase Records, 2004)
- Blue Horizon (Zoho Music, 2004)
- Bohemia (Jazzpoint, 2006)
- Remembering Eric Dolphy (Steeplechase Records, 2000)
Vic Juris’ Books & DVD
Vic Juris shares his insight into the wonderful world of harmony in this book. Not for the fainthearted, Vic teaches polychords and intervallic structures derived from the major, minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor and harmonic major scales in this must have jazz guitar book.
Vic played the solos in this collection with the student in mind. Each piece is based on the changes of popular jazz standards and will serve as great etudes for learning advanced jazz soloing techniques. Students will be able to see how to build a solo, use tension and release (“outside” and “inside” playing), build an advanced jazz vocabulary, and develop a motive through a set of changes though careful study of these solos.
Also, get this Vic Juris DVD. Take the ultimate jazz master class with Guitar World columnist Vic Juris. These video lessons teach you everything from Coltrane changes to unusual uses for the minor pentatonic scale, and they include standard notation and TAB.
Video, Licks and Transcriptions
Highly recommend book: Modern Chords (by Vic Juris). Helped my comping tremendously in:
- Learning triads (and inversions),
- Stock drop2 and drop3 voicings,
- Moving hybrid structures through keys,
- Triads over bass notes,