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My Top 10 Influential​ Jazz Songs – Taylor Roberts



Jazz Guitar Today continues to reach out to players. This time, “What SONGS influenced you and your playing style?” Guitarist and educator Taylor Roberts shares his Top 10, and why.

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Wes Montgomery – Canadian Sunset

This was the first jazz guitar solo I ever learned. It’s quite possibly the most lyrical, eloquent, and masterfully voiced guitar solo I’ve heard. I was lucky at the age of 17 to have an excellent teacher who helped point me in the right direction, and every time I hear the recording I still get chills.

Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin – Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho

“Friday Night in San Francisco” was a pivotal album for me. It helped bridge the gap between what I was doing at the time and where I wound up going. I learned the melody note for note and, instead of paying attention in high school algebra, was charting out all three parts. Aside from the obvious displays of technique from all three players, it was the synergy they created as a group that really struck me.

Tuck Andress – Man in the Mirror

First track on “Reckless Precision.” I was turned onto this record when I was still in high school. This tune in particular floored me. At the time, trying to sit down and play this sort of stuff was way over my head, but at this point, I play my arrangement (which I mostly stole from Tuck) on just about every gig. His touch, tone, and taste are what I love the most about his playing. In my mind, he wrote the book on what I do as a solo guitarist today.

Top 10 Influential​ Jazz Songs Continued

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