As we await 2013 albums from Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot, it's an apt time to recall that the past few years have been excellent ones for the guitar in jazz. Whether flirting with noise-rock textures -- Halvorson's drummer calls "Sea Seizure" her "Deerhoof song" -- or else heard in more traditional avant-jazz contexts (see Liberty Ellman's atonal-but-grooving acoustic guitar playing in Henry Threadgill's band), jazz guitar may never have had it this good. Rafiq Bhatia, Roger Kleier, Elliott Sharp and Nels Cline -- yes, the guitarist from Wilco -- round out our list of jazz's current axe masters in the appended playlist.
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