“Chops” by Joe Pass with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.
Album recorded in 1978 and pressed in 1979 by Pablo Records: 2310 830.
This is the Original Jazz Classics Records edition made in 2014 on 180gram vinyl: OJC-786 (2310 830). With high-energy playing and skilled interplay, the duo of legendary guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen flash their masterful chops on an ad-lib blues performance and nine jazz standards, including a three-quarters version of "Lover Man”, plus "Oleo”, "Quite Nights of Quiet Stars”, "Tricotism”, and "Yardbird Suite”. Louis Armstrong may not have been the first to use "chops" to refer to a musician's embouchure. He does seem to deserve credit for transmuting it to mean technical ability, as in his celebrated description of a jam session: "Chops was flyin' everywhere." Like so many terms originated by jazz musicians, the word has worked its way into the general language.
A reviewer, for instance, describes an actor who delivers an inspired performance as having his chops up. Taking it back a step, Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen in this album give a living demonstration of the Armstrong definition. No two more technically gifted musicians have ever worked together. But in jazz, as Louis proved all his life, technique alone does not suffice. With Pass and NHØP, chops are only means to the expression of ends. Like swing, and heart, and soul.
This Pablo date is a thrilling outing that rewards repeat listens and never disappoints. A truly unique, surprising and energetic collection that fans of duo outing should not hesitate to hown.