Grant Green is one of the most underestimated jazz guitarist in history. His contribution to jazz, soul and funk music (specially on the Blue Note label) is peerless. Green had a distinctive voice in improvisation and complete mastery of the bebop language.
It is said that Green was influenced more by horn players than guitarists. His playing is mostly linear and contains quite a lot of space (silence) between the lines. Some biographies state Charlie Christian , Miles Davis and Charlie Parker as his main influences.
Gear and Playing Style
Gear includes good old hollow-bodied guitars such as :
Green played with a pick and was not a virtuoso guitarist ; he never played real fast because the music came first, and the technique obeyed his musical expression. Coming from a soul/gospel background, the feel was always more important.
In Green's improvisation we hear mostly eight-notes with some triplets and very (very) occasional double-time arpeggios (swept-picked across the strings). See the transcription below.
Top-5 Grant Green Albums (according to JazzGuitarLessons.net)
Don’t know where to start listening to the great Grant Green? Perhaps this little top-5 list will help you get started!
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, mastermind and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.