BBR guitar week scales new heights today with Joseph Anthony Jacobi Passalacqua, known professionally as Joe Pass. Joe was born in New Jersey to Sicilian parents and given a guitar at age 9. His dad immediately saw he had a little prodigy and encouraged him to experiment with the instrument.
Joe moved to California and did a lot of television and movie work but developed a heroin habit and went to a rehab facility called Synanon. When he emerged clean and sober he recorded an album called Sounds of Synanon which is essential. Norman Granz then signed him to Pablo Records and paired him with Ella and Oscar Peterson, with whom he made many lps which show his mystifying chord/single note melody technique that sounds like no one else. New York magazine once said Joe looks like somebody’s uncle and plays like nobody’s business. Current BBR wish: a mint copy of Joe’s Virtuouso lp. Joe was certainly that and today he is something else: BBR star of guitar week.