As Norman Granz had done with Art Tatum 20 years previously, the impresario allowed Joe Pass to sit down and play his songbook. The result was Virtuoso, which included standards and original compositions recorded with acoustic and electric guitars. Virtuoso was the recording to announce that Joe Pass had arrived.
Pass had accomplished, using standard guitar performance techniques, to play lead melody lines, chords, and bass rhythm simultaneously and at tempo, giving the listener the impression that multiple guitars were being played. With the exception of the closing tunes, Pass restricts himself to the standard vernacular of Tin Pan Alley, Be Bop and ballads.
For the second installment of his Virtuoso series, Pass chose pieces of a more contemporary nature than present on Virtuoso. Pass mixes things up here with the ground zero of Hard Bop, new Jazz standards and contemporary Jazz standards.
All the while, the guitarist is illustrating his brilliant command of the entire American Song Book, while at the same time proving a keen intellect when choosing song vehicles for his playing. These songs are performed without flaw, regardless of tempo, infused with that element of joy Joe Pass brought to jazz and a palpable love of expressing that on six strings.