The history of the guitar in the jazz starts at the end of the decade of with Charlie Christian that, in only two years, revolutionized completely the interpretation of the instrument. Nevertheless, the guitar, together with the banjo, has in the jazz a tradition much longer than most of other instruments. Long before Christian, already it was a rhythmic instrument and of harmonic accompaniment used by the singers of blues and of work songs, the music of the slaves in the labor camps. It was with Johnny St. Cyr and Lonnie Johnson who gave beginning the history of the guitar in the strict sense of jazz, marking this way the beginning of two traditions of interpretation that last even today: the rhythmic interpretation and of harmonic accompaniment and the soloist, of lines and monophonic phrasings. Bud Scott, Danny Barker or Everett Barksdale were early representatives of the rhythmic style, followed by Freddie Green musicians’ predecessor of the ambience of the jazz rock, of the soul and of the funk, like Cornell Dupree. Teddy Bunn and Al Casey were other guitarists of New Orleans, who tried to unify the traditions inicadas for St. Cyr and for Johnson. In this line, and inside the style Chicago, Eddie Lang and Eddie Condon stood out especially.
Later Django Reinhardt, the first big European guitarist, exercised a notable influence in proper Charlie Christian, and in other later guitarists, as Les Paul, Earl Klugh, Larry Coryell, Christian Escoude, Bolou Ferre or Bireli Lagrène. Its qualities like composer, between many other factors, place it like one of the most important figures of the history of the jazz. Several decades later, the Brazilian Laurindo Almeida applied first the tradition guitarristica Spanish to the jazz, and later, in his own work, in which it was incorporating also stylistic elements of the music of its fatherland. Other guitarists who continued the stela of Almeida were the Brazilians Baden Powell, Ball Sete, Egberto Gismonti, or the North American Charlie Byrd.
The first musician in using the electrical jazz guitar was not Charlie Christian, but Eddie Durham. nota Nevertheless, Durham could not take the most that it was offering him the new instrument, for which there had to wait at the arrival of Charlie Christian – a soloist of the size of Lester Young or of Charlie Parker – to begin to emancipate. Christian’s style was named reed style, since it was using the guitar as if it was a saxophone, with phrasings typical of the instruments of tongue; harmonically, Christian was the first one in developing its improvisations not on the chords of the topics, but on the chords of transition that it was introducing between the basic chords; in the melodic field, Christian replaced characteristic staccato that almost all the guitarists were using before him for the legato, tying the notes of its phrases like one saxophonist it notices All the guitarists who arose after Charlie Christian come from him. Between the members of the first generation of guitarists post-Christian there are located Tiny Grimes, Oscar Moore, Irving Ashby, Les Paul, Bill DeArango, Chuck Wayne and, especially, Barney Kessel, the most important rhythmic guitarist of the decade of, along with Jimmy Raney (more interesting from the harmonic point of view) and Johnny Smith, with one more sound elaborado.
George Benson painted the portrait in in the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Such a Farlow gathered the influence of Jimmy Raney in a style of long phrases that was synthesizing the basic characteristics of the modern classicism; Jim Hall, famous person for its collaborations with Oscar Peterson, turned for Berendt into the guitarist of excellent timeless jazz from beginning of the decade of ; Kenny Burrell is considered to be the guitarist most emphasized from the hard bop, but in its career it has covered very diverse stylistic areas; Herb Ellis is a big bop guitarist with influences country music in its touch; Les Spann, also flautist, was popular during the decade of ; Wes Montgomery it was possessing a technical characteristic of octaves that turned out to be enormously influential and that provided to him a commercial success that would accompany during all its felling his life Gabor Szabo was possessing a proper and singular sound, with reminiscences of its native Hungary; Grant Green was an exceptional interpreter of blues who was dominating to the perfection the language bebop with a style that was giving priority to the expressiveness on the mere technical capacity; Larry Coryell, with its eclectic miscellany of rock, country music, blues and bop and its characteristic sharp sound, was one of the pioneers of the jazz rock in guitar George Benson is one of the biggest guitarists of jazz of all the times, but also a musician whose enormous versatility they it have removed sometimes of style
John McLaughlin touching a guitar of double mast at the beginning of the year.
At the entry of the decade of the guitar knew an explosion of popularity that owed, especially, Wes Montgomery in the jazz, to B. B. King in the blues and to Jimi Hendrix in the rock. They followed King T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Dawkins, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Mike Bloomfield and, in the line nearest to the rock, Albert King, Albert Collins and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. well-known Between the rock guitarists straight deeply rooted in the tradition of Hendrix and in the blues there are Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Nils Lofgren and Frank Zappa.
Between the guitarists who have updated the language cool stand out the Hungarian Attila Zoller, the Canadian Ed Bickert, the Americans Howard Roberts, Michael Santiago, Doug Raney or Jack Wilkins. Between the jazz guitarists rock and jazz merger is necessary to mention John McLaughlin, Joe Beck, Larry Coryell, Steve Khan, Eric Gale, Earl Klugh, To The DiMeola, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Vic Juris, Baird Hersey, Larry Carlton, Jan Schafer, the Dutch Jan Akkerman, the Briton Allan Holdsworth, the Finn Jukka Tolonen, the Norwegian Terje Rypdal, or the Germans Volker Kriegel, Toto Blanke or Michael Sagmeister. Between the guitarists who have fused the jazz with the traditional music of different countries, there are Alex de Grassi, William Ackerman, Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder, John Fahey and Robbie Basho. Between the guitarists free he is necessary to emphasize Sonny Sharrock, Michael Gregory Jackson, James Emery, Spencer Barefield, James Blood Ulmer or the Briton Derek Bailey. Between the guitarists who continued the tradition of the swing there are George Barnes, Bucky Pizzarelli, Cal Collins and – especially – Joe Pass. Finally, between the guitarists of the current mainstream contemporary there are John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Roland Prince, Chuck Loeb, Ted Dumbar, Rodney Jones, Ed Cherry, Joe Diorio, Monette Sudler, or Ron Eschete, in addition to unclassifiable Ralph Towner, of the group Oregon.