Virtuoso (Joe Pass album)

Virtuoso is an album by jazz guitarist Joe Pass that was released in 1973. Despite having only one original composition ("Blues for Alican"), it is widely considered to be his best album, as well as one of the best jazz guitar albums. The remastered version used 20-bit K2 Super Coding System technology and included liner notes by Benny Green.

Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1973 (1973-12)
RecordedAugust 28, 1973
StudioMGM Recording Studios, Los Angeles
ProducerNorman Granz
Joe Pass chronology
Live at Donte's
Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz(favorable)[1]
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[3]


Contemporaneous reviews were positive. For example, The Guardian commented on Pass' "staggering dexterity, [...] matched by his fluency of ideas and the originality of his voicing",[4] and The Irish Times stated that, "Apart from a certain fallibility with regard to time, Pass is without significant fault, a fact borne out by the quite incredible performances here".[5] Looking back from 2005, All About Jazz described the album as "the recording to announce that Joe Pass had arrived", and said that he had "accomplished, using standard guitar performance techniques, to play lead melody lines, chords, and bass rhythm simultaneously and at tempo, giving the listener the impression that multiple guitars were being played".[6]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Night and Day" (Cole Porter) – 3:32
  2. "Stella by Starlight" (Ned Washington, Victor Young) – 5:10
  3. "Here's That Rainy Day" (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) – 3:36
  4. "My Old Flame" (Sam Coslow, Arthur Johnston) – 5:17
  5. "How High the Moon" (Nancy Hamilton, Morgan Lewis) – 4:59
  6. "Cherokee" (Ray Noble) – 3:37
  7. "Sweet Lorraine" (Cliff Burwell, Mitchell Parish) – 4:09
  8. "Have You Met Miss Jones?" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 4:42
  9. "'Round Midnight" (Bernie Hanighen, Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams) – 3:38
  10. "All the Things You Are" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern) – 4:01
  11. "Blues for Alican" (Joe Pass) – 5:29
  12. "The Song Is You" (Hammerstein, Kern) – 4:34


  • Joe Pass – guitar

Sales and chart positionsEdit

Virtuoso outsold nearly every other release in the Pablo catalog and established Pass as the premier mainstream jazz guitarist of the time.[7]

Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard Jazz Albums 16


  1. ^ All About Jazz review
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. US: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 159. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Peters, Sam (September 5, 1974) "Jazz records" The Guardian, p. 10.
  5. ^ Comiskey, Ray (January 31, 1975) "Jazz Guitar and Joe Pass" The Irish Times, p. 10.
  6. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (2005-02-09). "Joe Pass: Virtuoso". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
  7. ^ "Joe Pass Unedited," Part III article by Jim Ferguson, accessed April 29, 2009. Archived April 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine