March 14, 2005
Jazz players often get so caught up in playing music from only one period that that’s all you hear on their albums. But there’s so much other music out there just waiting to be explored. For instance, there is an ocean of amazing classical music that guitarists can dive into, yet few do. On the current Frank and Joe Show album, 331/3, [Hyena], which features my good friend Joe Ascione on percussion, we do a burning, Django-esque rendition of a very famous Mozart melody that you may recognize [Ex. 1]. Our version is simply called “Mozart Jam,” and when the midsection of the piece kicks in, I employ the old Les Paul technique of overdubbing harmony parts to create a huge, symphonic wall of acoustic guitars [Ex. 2]. On our new album, which should be out in April, you’ll find we’ve arranged—or, as I like to say, deranged—a Bach violin partita by orchestrating it for guitar and hip hop djembes. As told to Jude Gold.