50 Jazz Blues Licks is an exclusive series of video guitar lessons by David Hamburger covering the jazz blues styles of historically great guitarists like George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, and many others. A new lick will be released each week, so be sure to subscribe and check back often!

Once again, my first encounter with a legendary keyboard player was through the jazz guitar canon – Tommy Flanagan’s the pianist on The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, one of the first jazz albums I and probably zillions of other guitarists got turned on to. (Right after Wes lays down the two-chorus head to “D-Natural Blues,” that’s Flanagan who comes in with the righteously laid-back opening solo.) Much more recently, I picked up an LP of The Tommy Flanagan Trio Overseas, which quickly became an all-time favorite of mine (and made my then-three-year-old son’s heavy rotation list for about three months, which about as high praise as you can get). Turns out, of course, what I thought was some weird, obscure old reissue was in fact considered an all-time classic itself, and with good reason – Flanagan, bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Elvin Jones (you may have heard of him – he played with a guy named Coltrane) apply their intensely relaxed bebop groove to original material, an Ellington/Strayhorn tune and three different views of the twelve-bar form, with results any jazz-exploring blues musician will totally dig.

Video Guitar Lesson

If you like these guitar lessons, be sure to also check out Frank Vignola’s Jazz Up Your Blues, which showcases essential jazz blues vocabulary and techniques, Mark Stefani’s Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines, which takes you on a sonic learning tour through the funky rhythm and blues stylings and fretboard concepts of top jazz blues players, and of course all of David Hamburger’s courses.