Giovanni's "6 Albums That Changed Me"
Miles Davis: We Want Miles
I first heard this album when I was about eight years old. I used to play a toy guitar and mime along to the guitar solos! I especially loved Mike Stern's solo on the track "Jean Pierre". Even when I listen to it now, I can still sing every note of that solo!
The Manhattan Transfer: The Offbeat of Avenues
I listened to this album when I was about ten years old. When I first heard the electric guitar (Jamie Glaser) in the intro of the title track, I knew immediately that I wanted to play the guitar. This album is the reason I first asked my father for guitar lessons.
Dream Theater: Awake
When I was sixteen, I was really into rock and metal bands like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. I knew that Dream Theater's John Petrucci used an Ibanez 7 string, so I had to have one! I got my Ibanez 7 string in 2000 and learned to play every note on this album, from beginning to end.
Mr. Big: Lean Into It
After several years of listening to prog metal with all it's complexity and odd time signatures, it was time for a change. I needed some music in 4/4, but that still had super technical stuff and plenty of fireworks on bass, guitar and drums. Mr. Big fit the bill perfectly. I really liked Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert's style and I started a Mr. Big tribute band in Rome. I bought Paul Gilbert's signature guitar, the Ibanez PGM and even had an electric drill with picks attached for playing the song "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy"!
Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz / Gilberto
At music college I had ensemble classes where I had the opportunity to play with a full band. We had a great teacher called Eric Daniel, who is a fantastic sax player. One day, he just gave us the score for the bossa nova classic "The Girl from Ipanema" and I said, "What's that?!" I grew to really love the genre, and this is the first real album I really listened to. Now I would say that it's my favorite music.
Bireli Lagrene & Sylvain Luc: Duet
As guitarists get older, you start to want more nylon and less distortion... I was attracted to Gyspy jazz because it's like shredding, but on an acoustic guitar. In particular, I love Sylvain Luc's playing on this album. In fact, I would have to say that he is my favorite guitarist and that this is my favorite guitar album of all time.