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Any Jazz Guitarists?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bernie Connors, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Hey all,

    Just wondering if anyone plays jazz guitar once in awhile or maybe more often? Anyone own a Gibson L5 or another big hollowbody? I love jazz guitar and just seeing if anyone on the boards plays.

    I'd love to pick it up myself one day.

  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I sorta do, but not on anything like a full time basis. I don't own any big jazz boxes, though; when I'm in the mood for that stuff I pick up either a Carvin Holdsworth Fatboy or a Hamer Newport Pro (a thin mostly hollow body, not a semi like a 335).
  3. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I have a Holst 18" fully-carved archtop -- the old style big box. I'm much more of a guitarist than a bassist! (shh) I do the jazz thing now and again, although more often with the Telecaster, just for practical reasons. (I have a very nice setting of "Ruby, my Dear," FWIW.) Anyway, you can hear the Holst at the links below, although that isn't jazz.
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Not to derail, but what are some of the keys to getting Jazz tone? I just love the sound. Is it about the guitar? The amp? The EQing? Reverb?
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The guy I'm playing with now has a, IMO, quasi-Pat Martino tone happenin'(similar to what I've heard from Pat's Footprints or Consciousness albums).

    My friend is using a Gibson ES-335 with a Top Hat or Matchless amp...a lot will swear by a Polytone amp. My friend is an obsessive gear kook; IMHO, a good Jazz guitar tone(IMO, like early Martino) can be attained with a variety of tools.
  6. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I think of the grail tone as being the Hank Garland or Joe Pass sound -- a very slightly overdriven chunky sound. That's real heavy strings, a hollow body, a PAF pickup, and the right sort of amp. I use an Evans amp which is electronically similar to a Polytone (that is, FETs) with a Doyle pickup on the archtop, or with the Tele. I'm sure there are as many approaches as guitarists.
  7. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    Yeah, that's actually my primary musical focus. I don't generally go for the traditional "tone control rolled off" sound, though. I like Teles and Les Paul-type guitars, as well as semi-hollow stuff (see my my buddy Jim for killer ERGs - My friend Terry is building me a semi-solidbody right now (, and after that, I am going for an archtop, but not exactly a super-traditional one. I want a 7 or 8-string from Ari Lehtela. ( His guitars can pull off the old school sound, but are capable of much more modern, articulate tones, too.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    My buddy Matt has a real nice 1947 ES-350. He goes more for the plywood sound with a small tube amp, rather than a carved top with a clean amp. Alla them records in the 50s- Jim Hall, Jimmy Raney, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel - that's plywood guitars. They aren't really chasing a "guitar" sound, they're all trying to sound like Ben Webster.
  9. Ed,

    Would you include Kenny Burrell in that group? I dig his tone lots.
  10. Do you have any pics of that, Kelly? I'd love to see 'em.
  11. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I need to take one -- it's been on my list. I suppose I can use this as an excuse to get to it. I'll post a picture tonight.

    Here's the Holst website, FWIW. My guitar is no longer pictured there, though.
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I don't know what Kenny was playing then. Jim Hall was generally playing a single pickup 175 (even when he had Jimmy D'Aquisto making guitars for him, they were all plywood), Raney was playing either a 150 with a Charlie Christian or a 350 (later a 175, but there was a point that one of his 150's was stolen and he was borrowing a lot of different guitars), Tal was using a 350, Barney a 350...
  13. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    It's funny to see this come up here. Steve (Holst) has this business making archtops, and just in the last little while, suddenly his customers want laminate guitars. He's made three or four that I know of. Must be a "meme."
  14. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I played guitar a good portion of the time in my last "psycho jazz" band, which is re-forming (but hopefully not reforming) right now. I lean toward the Metheny/James Blood Ulmer/Frisell sorta stuff, the more outside the better. I use a guitar synth with a Heritage solid body, plus a variety of scary homebrewed tube amps.

    I've had my eye on either a Heritage big box or a Hofner Jazzica carved archtop for a while. I let a smoking Jazzica deal go through my hands two years ago, and am still kicking myself about it. I got an EUB instead though, which has been a really positive move as it turns out.

    I've been watching a couple of local jazz bassists learn the ropes on trad jazz guitar lately, and one of them sits in on guitar with my standards group occasionally. I'd love to get to where we can trade chairs on a few gigs.
  15. Cool! I look forward to seeing it.
  16. Thanks for the info.

    It looks like Sadowsky followed the laminated approach when designing Jim Halls signature archtop.
  17. That's what I'd love to be able to do one day, myself!
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    The bassist that I replaced in the standards group also plays guitar and clarinet, and sings, and he still plays with us from time to time. If I toned down my guitar approach a bit, I could also be trading off with him right now. A lot of our book is beyond my guitar skills right now though, realistically. I gotta fix that eventually.

    I've gone back and forth on the ply vs. carved thing a bit. My buddy who's a Hofner rep insists that I go carved. My gut tells me that ply would be better for the inevitable feedback episodes that I'm prone to though. :rolleyes:
  19. Yeah, it sounds like the ply is better for that.