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Interview with bebop guitarist and Django fan, John Pisano

gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
in History Posts: 210

Hi guys! This is not gypsy jazz per say BUT I thought some of you would enjoy these. John Pisano is a HUGE Django fan and plays with Joe Pass on the legendary For Django album. Hopefully it's ok to share this here.

This is an interview I did recently with John where he tells us a lot of great stories about his life and career. He does mention Django and the influence he had on him as a young man. This is part of the history of jazz guitar. There are three parts.


Doug Martin
Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
BucovanmalmsteenBill Da Costa WilliamsbillyshakesStringswingerMichaelHorowitzLango-Django


  • swiesslerswiessler NorCalNew Dupont MD20,Gibson L5,Bumgarner F hole(DiMauro type)
    Posts: 65

    What a fascinating oral history of jazz guitar. I've seen some of Mr. Pisano's excellent playing with Joe Pass and others.(video)Thanks for posting this Doug!

  • edited August 2020 Posts: 3,253

    He very well could be a number one jazz sideman of all time, his contribution to music is just astounding. I first heard of him through my jazz guitar teacher in early 2000s. When he mentioned the name I said oh I haven't heard of him. His reply was maybe you haven't heard of him but you've heard him, because he's on soooo many records. At the time I almost bought Eastman Pisano but I had budget for either that or my GJ guitar so the latter won. Pisano Eastman was one of the best jazz boxes I've tried, it felt so good to play. 

    Man so what great stories in there, John is a good story teller. Thanks for doing this and posting here!

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 210

    John is a real character and at 89 years old, still sharp as a tack! What an inspiration!

    BucoBill Da Costa WilliamsStringswinger
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • pmgpmg Atherton, CANew Dupont MD50R, Shelley Park Custom, Super 400, 68 Les Paul Deluxe, Stevie Ray Strat
    edited August 2020 Posts: 140

    Great interview Doug! Nice to have a knowledgeable and talented jazz guitar player interview one of our living greats.

    I have played with John a couple of times while attending NAMM - most notably when Eastman first introduced his John Pisano model guitar many years ago. Word of this new guitar spread around NAMM causing many well known players to stop by and check it out. John was in his element and playing back-up to those who wanted to try one out. Justifiably proud over what Eastman had created to bear his name.

    It is nice to be reminded that there was a time when you could make a decent living playing jazz guitar :-)

    I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 391

    John accompanying Joe Pass on an acoustic version of Anouman:

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 572

    I have been visiting old musicians in the American south and in France since the 70s and those have been some of the best experiences of my life. I have found that without exception, people who played music all their lives are always very interesting people. I doesn't matter what kind of music they played, either. I have talked to elderly musicians who played blues, fiddle music, polkas, cajun music, klezmer, accordion etc. All of them had great tales to tell and something to teach me.

    Thanks for sharing this, Doug.

  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 210

    I totally agree Scot, so much to learn from the living legends. Always a privileged to seek out these guys while they're still alive. Living history for sure!
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 210

    That's a great cut. I love the Duets album they did together too. John and Joe were a great team!
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited August 2020 Posts: 1,640

    Hi, Michael H.!

    If were to sell copies of John Pisano’s new chord movement book, do you think it might sell to your clientele here?

    If so, you could put me down for one... in either paper format or PDF, whatever works best for you...


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,930
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