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Greg Howe started playing the guitar at the age of 10 and by his middle teens, after discovering Van Halen, became obsessed with the guitar. By his late teens he had already begun playing in clubs with his rock band, which featured his brother Al on lead vocals. Over the course of the next few years Greg continued to hone his guitar skills while playing and performing a repertoire of mostly cover tunes for audiences in clubs throughout the North East with his rock band.
The defining characteristic of any given jazz musician is frequently his sound. The more control a player has over the nature of that sound, the more likely he is to project a distinctive musical personality. For example, a saxophonist has virtually unlimited physical control of the sound that comes through his horn, and therefore a wide range of tonal expression at his command which partially explains the disproportionate number of saxophonists in the pantheon of great jazz musicians.
Les Paul had such a staggeringly huge influence over the way American popular music sounds today that many tend to overlook his significant impact upon the jazz world. Before his attention was diverted toward recording multi-layered hits for the pop market, he made his name as a brilliant jazz guitarist whose exposure on coast-to-coast radio programs guaranteed a wide audience of susceptible young musicians. Heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt at first, Paul eventually developed an astonishingly fluid, hard-swinging style of his own, one that featured extremely rapid runs, fluttered and repeated single notes, and chunking rhythm support, mixing in country & western licks and humorous crowd-pleasing effects. No doubt his brassy style gave critics a bad time, but the gregarious, garrulous Paul didn't much care; he was bent on showing his audiences a good time.
Jimmy Page is best known as the fire-slinging riffmaster who helped Led Zeppelin to hard-rock dominance in the 1970s. His work with Zeppelin made him one of rock's most important and influential guitar players, writers, and producers; in 2003, Rolling Stone listed Page as number nine on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Since Zep's demise, Page has alternated between solo projects and collaborations with other superstars. Largely uninterested in new trends and technology, Page's later work has been as bound to classic rock as his legendary band was.
Robben Ford is one of the premier electric guitarists today, particularly known for his blues playing as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Claus Ogerman, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield and many others.