The Six Best Solo Guitar Albums

Categories: Nitpick Six

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Playing music in general takes some guts. Doing it alone takes even more, and making a record of instrumental unoccupied guitar moves a musician from the "gutsy" category to "ballsy." Here is the list of six best solo guitar albums. Feel free to let us know what your favorite solo guitar record is, but bring a friend for support.

6. Christopher Trull - Boxes of Dead Things
Click here to download or stream this album from Dead Language Records

Local guitarist Christopher Trull, formerly of Grand Ulena and currently of Yowie, recorded the instrumental record Boxes of Dead Things for no other reason than to get ideas out of his head and onto tape. The result is surprisingly beautiful, considering Trull's abstract pedigree. Each consonant moment simply aches, and each knotty melody slithers mischievously. Christopher Trull is not only one of our city's best-kept secrets, he's also one of the most inventive musicians alive.

5. Joe Pass - Virtuoso
How High the Moon by Joe Pass on Grooveshark
Joe Pass is an icon among jazz guitarists, and Virtuoso is his defining moment -- so much so that it had a sequel. Pass' technique is unparalleled, particularly with his nimble jumps between chords and blistering melodies. Some have accused Pass of being all chops and no soul, but the fact that he improvised over jazz standards for Virtuoso upon the off-the-cuff requests from the album's engineers comes off like a middle finger to those naysayers.

4. Glenn Jones - The Wanting
The Wanting by Glenn Jones on Grooveshark
At the end of 2011 I expected to see The Wanting on multiple end-of-year lists and was shocked by its absence. Glenn Jones, who used to play in the group Cul De Sac, crafted a gorgeous album of expressive Americana on the Thrill Jockey label. The one exception to the solo format was "Orca Grande Cement Factory at Victorville," a recording of Jones that was essentially remixed by drummer Chris Corsano. The other tracks are gorgeous displays of shimmering acoustic work and a few experiments on the banjo -- but we won't hold that against him.


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8 comments
Hem
Hem

slash's Snakepit.  dude can shred

John
John

Any general guitar soloist list that does not include Tommy Emmanuel is woefullyuninformed.  Joe Pass on the list does indicate some awareness.

Mike Appelstein
Mike Appelstein

I'd also add Richard THompson's Strict Tempo! to this list.  And something by Alan Licht.

Jardis1
Jardis1

Joe Pass 5th? this is laughable, who could take this seriously?

Ryan Wasoba
Ryan Wasoba

Yeah, but to qualify for this list, shredding dude has to be playing without the aid of other dudes.

Ryan Wasoba
Ryan Wasoba

Agreed on Licht. "Rabbi Sky" was up there. Alan Licht and Loren Conners' "Hoffman Estates" is by far my favorite instrumental guitar-focused album but that obviously wouldn't meet the criteria.

Ryan Wasoba
Ryan Wasoba

If you're referring to the San Francisco power pop band Fuck who used to be on Matador Records, I don't think they ever made an album called "Off, Wasoba." I also don't think anyone in the band ever made a solo guitar record, which is why it didn't make the list. If you have a link to a stream or download of this "Off, Wasoba" album by Fuck, of which you speak I'd love to check it out!

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