Legends: Solo Guitar Performances

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Despite the impression one could reasonably get from the cover of this reissue, these two guitar legends do not perform together, unfortunately. The next best thing are these solo sessions recorded almost 20 years apart. The first 12 items on the play list belong to Smith and capture his tasteful, clean sound coupled with complex chordal voices, which helped Smith in his adventures with playing classical compositions, including for the fabled Arturo Toscanini. Cuts that remind the listener of Smith's occasional classical foray include "Romance de los Pinos," "The Old Castle," and "Maid With the Flaxen Hair." But Smith was no slouch with constructing unique renditions of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Despite the impression one could reasonably get from the cover of this reissue, these two guitar legends do not perform together, unfortunately. The next best thing are these solo sessions recorded almost 20 years apart. The first 12 items on the play list belong to Smith and capture his tasteful, clean sound coupled with complex chordal voices, which helped Smith in his adventures with playing classical compositions, including for the fabled Arturo Toscanini. Cuts that remind the listener of Smith's occasional classical foray include "Romance de los Pinos," "The Old Castle," and "Maid With the Flaxen Hair." But Smith was no slouch with constructing unique renditions of popular music. In 1952, teaming with Stan Getz, he made one of the best-selling jazz recordings of all times, "Moonlight in Vermont," which still sold well 50 years later. Van Eps was the master of the seven-string guitar, which allowed him to play his own basslines, well demonstrated on such cuts as "Tea for Two." The 11 pieces assigned to Van Eps reveal a predilection for highly rhythmic versions of well-known pop classics. Perhaps not as multi-faceted as Smith, he nonetheless had a fully developed style that approached the depth and complexity of Smith's. This can be heard on such cuts as "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" and "A Foggy Day." Besides which, he could and did swing. Although sideman on many a session, Van Eps left behind a relatively meager discography as a leader. These solo offerings are among his best. Although the styles of these two guitarists may go down different paths, their excellent technical skills, fully elevated imagination, and sensitivity to what they play clearly establish them among the elite of guitar players, true legends indeed. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/1994
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 013431461623
  • Catalog Number: 4616
  • Sales rank: 102,199

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I'm Old Fashioned (2:18)
  2. 2 Macho's Lullaby (2:06)
  3. 3 'Round Midnight (2:46)
  4. 4 Wally's Waltz (1:29)
  5. 5 Black, Black, Black (2:25)
  6. 6 Golden Earrings (2:59)
  7. 7 Romance de los Pinos (1:32)
  8. 8 Norteña (2:58)
  9. 9 Maid with the Flaxen Hair (2:10)
  10. 10 Waltz (2:31)
  11. 11 The Old Castle (3:54)
  12. 12 Sevilla (4:15)
  13. 13 Cheek to Cheek - George Van Eps (2:19)
  14. 14 A Foggy Day - George Van Eps (4:12)
  15. 15 Tangerine - George Van Eps (1:10)
  16. 16 Sunny - George Van Eps (2:16)
  17. 17 Why Was I Born? - George Van Eps (1:20)
  18. 18 I Didn't Know What Time It Was - George Van Eps (2:33)
  19. 19 Tea for Two - George Van Eps (5:19)
  20. 20 The Man I Love - George Van Eps (4:29)
  21. 21 For You - George Van Eps (1:39)
  22. 22 I Hadn't Anyone Till You - George Van Eps (2:01)
  23. 23 I Could Write a Book - George Van Eps (2:21)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Smith Primary Artist, Guitar
George Van Eps Guitar
Technical Credits
Johnny Smith Producer
Jerome Kern Composer
Bill Cook Engineer
Larry Hathaway Producer
George Horn Mastering
Carl Jefferson Executive Producer
J.J. Johnson Composer
James Mooney Engineer
Kent Judkins Art Direction
Jim Ferguson Liner Notes
Mark Reis Contributor
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