The Guitar in Jazz


The Guitar in Jazz

An Anthology

Edited by James Sallis

220 pages


March 1996


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The Guitar in Jazz presents in rich, entertaining detail the history and development of the guitar as a jazz instrument. In a series of essays by some of jazz’s leading historians and critics, the volume traces the impressive evolution of jazz guitar playing, from the pioneering styles of Nick Lucas and Eddie Lang through the recent innovations of such contemporary masters as Jim Hall and Ralph Towner. Editor James Sallis has included essays that focus on individual guitarists, including Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and JoePass. Other chapters vividly describe important jazz guitar styles, such as swing guitar and fingerstyle guitar.

In all, The Guitar in Jazz provides a full and captivating portrait of the guitar’s place in jazz. The book also offers insights into the larger history of jazz—its development, the social contexts in which the music came into being, and its eventual recognition as "the American classical music." The essays will appeal to guitar players and enthusiasts, and to all jazz lovers.

Author Bio

James Sallis is a guitar player and writer. He is the author of The Guitar Players, available as a Bison Book, and of the novels The Long-Legged Fly, Moth, and Black Hornet.


"Guitarists have been making major contributions to jazz since the 1920s, when Eddie Lang first began adding his brand of six-string sophistication to performances by the Mound City Blowers. Yet the history of the jazz guitar has remained largely undocumented, at least in any methodical way. Now James Sallis has put together a long-overdue anthology which traces the evolution of jazz guitar as well as celebrating some of the instrument’s greatest players."—Jazz Times

"Probably the most comprehensive anthology of essays essential to a complete understanding of jazz guitar and its stylistic history. . . . Sallis’ exhaustive research is clearly edited and written, and I feel it’ll be the reference source for the jazz lover, guitarist and non-guitarist alike in the next few years."—Dennis Gonzalez, The New Jazz Review

"An unfailingly lively and informative collection of essays that traces the guitar’s evolution in the hands of jazz and jazz-influenced artists who have not only mastered the instrument, but repeatedly reinvented it."—Gary Giddins, author of Faces in the Crowd

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