The Complete Pacific Jazz Joe Pass Quartet Sessions (#207)

Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set


The Complete Pacific Jazz Joe Pass Quartet Sessions (#207)
“Some of these quartets – particularly with gospel-charged pianist Les McCann-are as ingratiating and ear-friendly as any first-rate straight-ahead jazz you’re likely to hear.” - Jeff Simon, Buffalo News
Limited Edition: 5000 copies

5 CDs -  $80.00


You Can Focus On His Technical Mastery, and Miss Half the Story - His Musicality

Mosaic Records is proud to offer a box set collection of one of jazz music's greatest guitarists; Joe Pass. The flowing lines and harmonic complexities of bebop are daunting on any instrument, but they particularly challenge guitar players. Not so Joe Pass, who went the beboppers one better; by finger picking where he figured out how to fill and add bass notes as well as solo.

But Joe Pass' skill wasn't just in his ability to move dexterously around the fingerboard. The truly best aspect of his playing was how musical it all sounded. Joe Pass' improvised solos were often crafted well enough to have been melodies in and of themselves creating a unque jazz sound captures in this box set collection.

For Django, with 3 unissued tracks by his quartet with fellow guitarist John Pisano, is considered a must-have in any jazz library. This box set collection also includes Catch Me! with Clare Fischer, Ralph Pena and Larry Bunker with an additional 8 unissued tunes , Les McCann's On Time and Soul Hits, 12-String Guitar Movie Themes and his live Joy Spring album with 4 more tracks and some newly discovered Pass sessions.

The original three-track masters for 15 of the 18 sessions on this set survived and were remixed and transferred to digital at 24-bit resolution by Malcolm Addey for a clean, pure sound which higlights the beautiful tone of this great instrumentalist. Thoroughly researching the original session tapes is a path not only to far greater fidelity but also to discovering unissued material, like the 33 previously unissued tunes in this limited edition box set!

Always clean, articulate, and effective, Pass had unstoppable swing and an ability to create memorable, beautifully-constructed jazz solos. The Mosaic box set collection of his Pacific quartet sessions lays out the full range of what this gentle, self-effacing musician could do.

Read More About Joe Pass:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »

On a late '60s talk show, Wes Montgomery was asked who his favorite guitarist was. Montgomery said, “He’s sittin’ right over there in your band,” pointing to Pass. This collection from Mosaic will show you why.

  • Booklet
  • Audio Quality
  • Photography
  • Sample Session Notes
Kirk Silsbee is one of the finest jazz writers in Los Angeles and he applied his knowledge of Joe Pass and of the LA scene in general to his in-depth biography and session-by-sessions notes on these great Pacific Jazz sessions. The discography, rich in detail, brings to light many corrections and specifics on the many unreleased tracks and sessions on this set.

In the age of microsizing, every Mosaic Records Box Set booklet is still 11 x 11 inches to allow our customers to appreciate all the extras we put into printing them (and for easier reading).


The original three-track masters for 15 of the 18 sessions on this set survived and were remixed and transferred to digital at 24-bit resolution by Malcolm Addey for a clean, pure sound. Thoroughly researching the original session tapes is a path not only to far greater fidelity but also to discovering unissued material, like the 33 previously unissued tunes here!

Photo Copyright © Protected
Joe Pass
Eighteen photos, many from the actual sessions, come from Woody Woodward, Ray Avery, Fred Seligo and Francis Wolff among others.

january & february, 1963

Pass was a prolific improviser, one whose inspirational fountain seldom ran dry. It's no accident that musical quotations -- a device whereby players often tread water while choosing the next direction in a solo -- are almost entirely absent in his improvisations. The copious guitar solos on Pass's first album, Catch Me!, suggests a floodgate suddenly opened. The title tune, which was still titled Forward Pass when this initial version was made, is one of the few Pass originals in the Pacific Jazz catalog. On it, Pass quickly surges along in the stream of his first love, bebop. (The second section in the head borrows structure from Gillespie's A Night In Tunisia.) This version would be issued on a Pacific Jazz 45 rpm single under its original title with Days Of Wine And Roses on the flip side.

Imaginative harmony aside, Fischer's block organ chords on Days Of Wine And Roses add an unintended "lounge" feel to Pass's earnest bossa treatment. Conversely, Fischer's sure-footed piano solo on You Stepped Out Of A Dream ends with an out-of-tempo passage that reveals his rhythmic mastery. Pass's articulation is always clean. His nylon string treatment of But Beautiful makes clear that Pass understood the effectiveness of space and resonance.

Mood Indigo may be Pass's first recorded Ellington tune. Ellington historian Patricia Willard says, "Duke never proclaimed any guitarist as his favorite but he loved playing with Joe Pass. When they did that album, Duke's Big Four (Pablo, 1973), Joe's playing energized Duke. After it was over Duke said he sure wanted to work with Joe again." After Fischer moves his solo into waltz time, Pass brings the tune into blues territory.

The rest of the material by this quartet is previously unissued. On It's All Right With Me, a bopper's favorite, Pass strums the theme and then lets it ride on the solo, where Bunker keeps the flame high in changing and creative ways. Pass gives a master class on nylon string plucking at bright tempos on a swinging Deep Purple and the sprightly Tangerine. There Will Never Be Another You illustrates how Pass paid attention to melody. Bunker gets a groove going on his ride cymbal on Bags' Groove, where Pass, on electric guitar, plays with understated dynamics. Pass plays the verse rubato on No Greater Love before the band kicks in. Tatum's influence can be detected in his single-note explorations. Fischer seems to decline the solo space offered to him on The Night Has A Thousand Eyes so Pass burns brightly without being flashy.


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  This is a revelation!
Did not know much about Joe Pass except remember hearing him accompanying Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald. This set however is a real revelation. Brilliant guitars, songs and ensembles. One of my favourite Mosaic Box sets.
  So glad I bought this
I only knew of Joe Pass from his Pablo work. But the playing in this set is fantastic. Thanks for presenting this set, especially the previously unreleased Hank Williams tunes, which were interesting and imaginative reworkings for me.
Pass plays swinging guitar with a very able bunch of mostly west coast musicians. I didn't know he was so good so early in his career.
  Mr. Pass
Good intro to Pass, the bands are superb.
  Mr. Harris
Really like the tracks with Gene Harris, bluesy, funky, and they present a warmer, more extroverted side of Mr. Pass. Mr. Harris is his usual lively, soulful self. Pass seems to be enjoying the session.
  McCann not Harris
I'm sorry I meant Les McCann, not Gene Harris, just replace the names. What I said still goes. Senior glitch. Anyway, great stuff (perhaps it was wishful thinking about Pass & Harris?)
  Mr. Pass -2
I meant box set, not Select.
  Mr. Pass
Joe Pass is consistently superb throughout this set, the other musicians are well chosen. Very satisfied with this Select and never before was a big Joe Pass fan.
  The Genius of Mr.Pass
Joe Pass has been described 'Charlie Parker of the guitar' or the 'Art Tatum of the guitar'.Born in New Jersey,he received guitar lessons at an early age from a local music teacher and played the guitar six hours of a day.By the age of twelve he was playing with local musicians who gigged at the local music hall.And they had drums,piano,tenor saxophone,trumpet and the guitar.There was no bass player so Joe was playing the bass lines.He was twelve years old and improvising! In 1949,New York's 52nd street was the center of bebop revolution.All of the masters like Charlie Parker,Dizzy Gillespie were there and so was young Joe Pass.He had found his way into interesting jam sessions but he was too eager to adopt the hard drug lifestyle. The next 12 years were the darkest period of his life and he found his way Synanon Rehabilitation Center.He owned no guitar,he had no future,no hope.He had only a broken life.Then he overcame his addiction and make this Pacific Jazz Recordings.His playing on this recordings was incredibly phenomenal,tasteful and emotional.This Pacific Jazz Recordings on this Mosaic Box Set haven't included his Sounds of Synanon album that was made in 1961.So thanks Mosaic Records who created this beautiful set.
  Joe reMASTERed
As I am from Belgium, I wasn't very aware of this collection and Mosaic. I bought a japanese edition of "For Django" and was as much disappointed about the sound quality as I was overwelmed by the great music done by these great musicians. Looking on the internet to find out if anybody had the same experience I clicked on this collection, and thought: Let's give it a try. And I am glad I did. The sound quality is so much better. Nice booklet, and the cover looks nice on the wall. I don't rate it 5 stars, because the collection isn't complete. But what I nice collection it is. Brilliant playing by Joe, gives me chicken skin every time. I wish wasn't listening to Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. all the time at the time when Joe died, but I know for sure that I will play yhis record a long long long time.
  A slight adjustment on the Wes story:
It was the 'Woody Woodbury Show'. Wes finished playing, put his guitar down, walked to Woody's desk, and before sitting down, bent over to whisper something in Woody's ear. After Wes sat, Woody told the audience, (paraphrase): "This humble man has just told me that he's embarrassed to be the featured soloist when such a great guitarist as Joe Pass is in the band."
  Joe Pass Quartet Recordings
"Catch Me" & "Joy Spring" is really KILLER SHIT guys!!!! JOE PASS for PRESIDENT!!!! 5 stars is not enough! I'd like to rate this 4444stars! NajPonk4.
  The Great Joe Pass
We (Ian Mcgregor of W Aust Jazz Guitar Soc) and myself were privileged to hear Joe at Ronnies in London several times,and more than once the great man made a mistake in improvising only to pause very briefly to think and proceed deftly to (correct ) the harmony almost for it to go unnoticed, thats genius! We will always be indebted to Joe for his gift to us . Bryan Braban UK
  Buy it just for Bag's Groove!!!
I bought the set just because of the extra material from the "Joyspring" session and was knocked out by his version of "Bag's Groove". Its also nice to have "Catch Me" and "For Django" remastered on cd. So, if you are sitting on the fence wondering whether or not to buy this set, all I can say is: "Man, does it swing"!!! PLEASE PUT OUT THE COMPLETE TAL FARLOW ON VERVE!!!
  'Essential collection of Joe Pass recordings
With all due respect to the great jazz guitarist, this is my favorite period of his career!(although I wished it included "Simplicity" and "Sounds of Synanon"). 'Terrific sound and presentation, as usual for Mosaic. So when are we going to see a complete Tal Farlow on Verve, or Jimmy Raney on ABC(with those sideman dates with Urbie Green, Vinnie Burke, etc)?
  The Great Joe Pass.
All I can add to this review is the word"Virtuoso".
  Buy it if you don't have the originals
1. If you are an early-Joe Pass fanatic(like me) - buy it (I did). 2. If you have a budget surplus - buy it. 3. If you don't own any of the following on CD: "For Django", "Joy Spring", "Catch Me" - buy it. You need to own those CD's and this set gives you all of them plus lots of other stuff. If you're going to transcribe any Joe Pass you must have these CD's. 4. If you own all of the above, and have been searching for the Les McCann session for a long time - buy it. This session alone is worth it. Joe's solos on "Chicken Shack", "Grooveyard", "Work Song" and others are great. 5. If you own all of these CD's separately, then there is not enough valuable new stuff in this collection to buy it. In terms of previously unpublished material I was really disappointed. Most of the out-takes have pretty horrible goof ups on them which make them annoying to listen to, and they are interspersed among the originals. There are some gems, but for the most
  Warm, inventive, and swinging--a pleasure!
This is the Joe Pass to get. For Django is of course classic, and the sessions with Clare Fischer and with Les McCann are a real pleasure. And I like having the added Joy Spring tracks. There are also the little surprises like the four previously unissued tracks from Pass' Hank Williams session. Yes, it would have been great to have ALL his Pacific Jazz material assembled here, but I'm pleased with everything that's included. Even the 12-string movie-theme sessions (that have taken so many knocks) are actually quite a lot of fun--sounds unlike any other recording I've heard, and I particularly get a kick out of "Sunday in New York."
  A mixed bag, although a fine one
I have rarely be disappointed in a Mosaic set but I was a little by this one. Completeness sometimes means some inferior material has to be included, and it is the case here. The set gathers three fine LPs (Catch me, Django and Joy Spring) plus equally excellent unissued material from those sessions. The film music album, however, is atrocious, and its jazz content minimal at best. I don't know the Stone or Simplicity albums that the other reviewers praise, but they couldn't possible have less jazz content than that 12-string mishmash. Also -- but that is a matter of jazz taste -- I have always found Les McCann's "soul" style tedious, and he pulls Pass in a musical direction that is rather alien to Pass's true feelings and best qualities, as shown by the three aforementioned albums and of course Pass' later work for Pablo. True, Pass pulls in his own direction too in the "On Time" album and that remains enjoyable, but the "Soul Hits" album I find terribly boring both in choice of
  As far as it goes--superb
Great music from the Clifford Brown of the guitar. Unending choruses of flowing bebop. But the liner notes are dead wrong in saying that "The Stones Jazz" had very little jazz content and for that reason excluding that album. Some of Pass's greatest single line solos appear on that album. Also, "Simplicity" is a beautiful set with marvelous playing from Joe. The set should have included all of Pass's imcomparable Pacific Jazz work. What about the complete Tal Farlow on Verve next?
  Happy to have this one but why not ALL the PJ lp's
Mosaic does it again, a GREAT set but I feel it should have included Sounds of Synanon and Simplicity, and ALL the Pacific Jazz sessions. Mr Cuscuna,please .. How about a COMPLETE Johnny Smith Roost Box !!
  a sin not to include the STONES JAZZ album
It´s a sin not to include the STONES JAZZ album. Seemingly simple compositions come to life by brilliant arrangements and superb improvisations by Joe Pass. The Stones´ guitar playing may be one star. Joe Pass´s artistry is a hundred.

The Complete Pacific Jazz Joe Pass Quartet Sessions (#207)
The Complete Pacific Jazz Joe Pass Quartet Sessions (#207)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
5 CDs - $80.00

Customer Reviews:

"This is the Joe Pass to get. For Django is of course classic, and the sessions with Clare Fischer and with Les McCann are a real pleasure. And I like having the added Joy Spring tracks."
Read More Reviews »

Audio Clips

Play: Catch Me

Play: Django

Play: Joy Spring

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