Thursday, September 27, 2007

George Van Eps - I've Got a Crush on You

I don't know of many videos recordings of George Van Eps. Enjoy the master of all things 7-string guitar as he treats us to I've Got a Crush on You.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Barney Kessel Played a 1950's Kay Guitar

Barney Kessel - 1950's Kay guitar
Barney Kessel, a first-call guitarist in the Wrecking Crew, at one point played a solid body 1950's Kay guitar. This thing was awesome. Barney played with the Oscar Peterson Trio, and how he survived those tempos still remains a mystery. I came across this guitar as I was browsing vintage guitars. It seems that Eastwood Guitars has made a duplication of the Barney Kessel 1950's Kay guitar. Eastwood Guitars has put the Airline brand name on the guitar, but it looks like a very close remake of the original solid body jazz guitar that Barney Kessel played. Man, Barney Kessel was a tremendous player.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Favorite 7-String Jazz Guitarists

George Van Eps - 7-String Genius
When it comes to 7-string guitar players, George Van Eps is the king of all. By far. No questions asked. He literally invented the concept of 7-string jazz guitar by drafting the specs for the first 7-string archtop with the luthiers at Epiphone back in the 1940's. George Van Eps had so much talent, imagination, and ingenuity, I doubt his skills will ever be matched. There are a few that come close. To name a few of my favorites: Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Ron Eschete, Lenny Breau, Jimmy Bruno, Victor Baker, Alan de Mause, Howard Morgan, Ted Ludwig, and Jimmy Foster. There are many more, but these are my favorite 7-string players.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Archtop Guitars in New Orleans

So I finally started a blog. It's really just going to be a place where I talk about guitars. Archtop guitars, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, jazz guitars - these are my favorite things. For my first post, I want to let you in on a little secret I discovered in New Orleans. I heard about some amazing hand-made guitars that are custom built by a luthier named Jimmy Foster. I have seen some of his guitars on eBay, and they look amazing. However, when I visited his website, I noticed that Jimmy Foster is also an amazing 7-string jazz guitarist, as there are several recordings of Jimmy playing one of his custom 7-string archtop guitars. While the traditional jazz guitar has 6-strings, Jimmy plays jazz guitar with an extra string: a low A. This allows him to play bass lines in the style of George Van Eps and Bucky Pizzarelli. He's got several models, including archtops, solid body electric guitars, and acoustic guitars. There are several well-known guitarists who play Jimmy's guitar, and Paul Simon is one of them. Jimmy even took the time to make some videos of himself making a guitar. It's pretty cool to see all the different tools that he uses. Anyways, take a minute to check out his site: