Instrumental
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Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones

 

Jeff Beck - Blow by Blow Jeff Beck Wired

Instrumental

Roy Buchanan AnthologyDixie Dregs

 
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones

Instrumental music with a guitar emphasis

Instrumental music is typically not too popular commercially. Though some of the best musicians perform in this environment. We will be expanding this section

Stop back for updates. 

Jeff Beck
Roy Buchanan
Dixie Dregs
Danny Gatton
Django Reinhardt


See Also: 
Chet Atkins
David Grisman

Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Jeff Beck
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones

Both of the instrumental Jeff Beck albums displayed to the right, Blow by Blow and Wired are excellent. Moving from his blues based roots displayed with the Yardbirds and his own bands, Beck forged new territory with this pair of records, sort of fusion music with elements of jazz, funk, rock, and traces of blues. 

The material on both of these albums include several covers which are among the strongest songs. Beck's remakes are totally unique and  only borrow the melody while he adds some excellent musical vibes over them.  

On Blow by Blow, they include a stunning version of the Beatles "She's a Women."  In addition, two Stevie Wonder songs, "Thelonius" and "Cause We Ended As Lovers"  are performed The latter being a tribute to Roy Buchanan, a guitarists guitar player.  Besides the covers, Blow by Blow includes excellent original material where "Freeway Jam." tops the list.

Beck's follow-up to Blow by Blow, Wired, was another monster. While the album may not be as strong, moving from an grade of A + to an A is no disappointment.

On Wired, they perform "Goodbye Porky Park," a Charles Mingus cover, where Beck really shows how to build a solo without having to play fast, where he places emphasis in the right places, and hits just the right notes, at the right time. 

Jeff Beck is an extraordinary guitar player and these two albums display him at his best. His approach to soloing and compositions can be quite intense. As a result his style is not accessible to all. Perhaps that is why he did not receive the commercial success that his Yardbird counterparts Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page enjoyed, because he is just as good. If this type of music is your taste, these albums are a treasure and are top shelf material. 

Beck's one disc compilation, The Best of Beck, is not a replacement for these classic albums. However, for a curious or casual fan, it does include some of the better highlights from each. It also gives an overview of  his material with his first band that features Rod Stewart and some of his other bands, both instrumental and with vocalists.  

Blow by Blow
Wired 
The Best of Beck
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Roy Buchanan
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Roy Buchanan's is one of the most innovative guitar players with a blues rock focus that I have heard, as well as seen perform.  His music is not all instrumental, but that is when he is at his best. It is also how he started. Besides, it is obvious that vocals were always secondary. 

There is a superb Roy Buchanan career retrospective entitled Sweet Dreams: The Anthology, which includes unreleased material, six live tracks, and an assortment of his best songs from his albums. The unreleased material includes "Dual Soliloquy," a twelve minute solo guitar piece recorded in 1972, and two live covers songs, "Hey Joe," and C. C. Ryder." 

The liner notes of Buchanan's Sweet Dreams: The Anthology written by Colin Escott describe his playing brilliantly. "Roy clearly knew the value of playing few notes with frightening precision, but could also spit out notes like bullets from a machine-gun at double or even quadruple time without sacrificing a sense of order. He had refined his touch so that he could isolate overtones by playing one string with a pick, simultaneously brushing that, or another string with his fingernail. His trademark, though, was the searing note that spun up out of silence as he hit the string, bent it and cranked up the volume."

Buchanan has three live releases and we first suggest American Axe: Live in 1974, preferably as a complement to Sweet Dreams: The Anthology. Though, if you are looking a less expensive single disc introduction to Roy Buchanan, this delivers the goods, and would be our strongest recommendation. This live album includes a few unreleased songs that Buchanan performed live.

Sweet Dreams: The Anthology
American Axe: Live in 1974
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Dixie Dregs
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Dixie Dregs is one of the most talented set of musicians. They are led by guitarist Steve Morse who was voted best overall guitarist by guitar player five times and has won six Grammy nominations. 

The Dixie Dregs album What If is an excellent album that demonstrates their excellence and diversity. The soloist typically receive the lion share of the credit in bands, but this rhythm section smokes. 

The Dregs typical instrumental diversity is showcased on What If. They venture into rock with "Take It Off The Top," fusion with "Odyssey," bluegrass with "Gina Lola Breakdown, and classical with "Little Kids." 

If you are looking for compilation of Dixie Dregs material, they have two greatest hits releases, which do not overlap. The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dixie Dregs is from their first three albums taking three songs from their debut, Freefall, four songs from What If, and four songs from their half studio and half live, Night of the Living Dregs.  

Information about the Dixie Dregs / Steve Morse DVD.

What If
The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dixie Dregs
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Danny Gatton
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Danny Gatton was named the "Worlds Greatest Unknown Guitarist" in 1989 by  Guitar World Magazine that lead to a record deal with Elektra records. 

His 1991 release 88 Elmira Street is an excellent display of the immense talent of Danny Gatton. 

This quote from the albums liner notes describe his playing brilliantly, "Gatton fired off screaming blues licks, echoplexed rockabilly lines, fluid jazz octave passages, finger twisting steel-like string bends, cascading artificial harmonic fills, mercurial right hand banjo rolls, funky B-3 organ riffs, and Heineken beer bottle slide, often within one solo!"

88 Elmira Street
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
Django Reinhardt
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones

Django Reinhardt is one of our favorite guitar players, and we offer extensive coverage including a complete list of his sessions from 1928 - '53 and a list of discs from each of them.  

To the right is a strong single disc compilation of Django with the Hot Club of France. 

Our stronger recommendation are three items below. Not one, but all. The box set is sold in two packages at very reasonably prices. Plus Nuages 1953 offers his jaw dropping electric performance from March '53. 

Quintette du Hot Club de France: 25 Classics 1934-1940
The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order Vol. 1, Part one of a box set at very low prices, five discs, 1934 - '39 Paris and London: 1937-1948, Vol. 2: The second part of the JSP box set, four discs, incredible music, bargain price. Nuages 1953 - Django's last two sessions, extraordinary. Our favorite Django session, 3/10/53.
Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones
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Guitar Instumental album reviews - the best ones

 

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