Jazz chord solos are my favorite kind of guitar music. They require
technique, theory, and practice. They push your hands and your mind. My
repertoire is small, but it is slowly growing and I haven't given up.
Click and listen:
Leaves Written by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer.
(1,545KB) Recorded direct to CD-R in December 2002, with just a Strat
plugged into a stock Fender Vibroverb. I used an SM67 on one speaker
and a C100 on the other speaker.
Acoustic archtops are probably the least common type of guitar. The
word archtop refers to a construction technique similar to a violin or
a cello, and was first used on the guitar by Orville Gibson in the
early 1900’s. Rather than being a flat sheet of wood, the guitar
soundboard is carved into an arched shape from a solid piece of wood.
They were very popular high end guitars from the ‘20’s through the
‘50’s, but are less common today, partly because of their high prices.
Archtops sound different from flat-top acoustic guitars, and they are a
bit of an acquired taste. Here are some of recordings of my archtops.
Click and listen:
The Days of
Wine and Roses By Henry Mancini and Johnny
Mercer. (4,000KB) Played on my new Trenier Excel, using an AKG C391
over the bridge and a C414 over the neck, mixed hard left and right.
Recorded February 2012.
Here's That Rainy Day
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen. (2,800KB) My Trenier Magnolia Classic, same
setup as above. Recorded February 2012.
Stella By Starlight
Victor Young, 1944. (4,100KB) This has been one of my favorite pieces
for years. Recorded with my Trenier Excel, November 2011.
Misty A classic written
in 1954 by Erroll Garner. (2,700KB) I was trying out a new mic
technique, and used a AKG C391 placed high over my right shoulder, and
a Blue Woodpecker facing the guitar top. The reverb is just the room
sound on the C391. The guitar is my 2009 Trenier Magnolia Classic.
Recorded October 2010.
Naima Written by John
Coltrane. (741KB) This is a mono (!) recording, completely dry, of my
1945 Gibson L-5. Recorded in October 2003 with an AKG C414. That’s it,
as simple as it gets. I learned this arrangement from my teacher Adam
Levy in the early ‘90s.
Around Much Anymore By Duke Ellington. (1,078KB).
My L-5 again, recorded in October of 2004, this time using a mono mix
of the C414 over the 15th fret and an AKG C391 over the bridge. Not
many people use a bridge microphone, but I find that it adds
interesting harmonics and liveliness to the sound and is much closer to
the true acoustic sound of the guitar.
My One and Only Love
By Guy Wood and Robert Mellin. (1,037KB) The same guitar and mics as
above, same session, but this time with the neck and bridge mic mixed
left and right in a stereo spread.
In A Sentimental Mood
Another by The Duke. (921KB) I played my Grimes Montreux into an AKG
C414 microphone positioned over the 12th fret, mixed hard left, and a
C391 over the bridge, mixed hard right. The mix is perfectly dry.
Recorded in June 2001.
My dear friend Tom Morales, playing the stand
up here, makes me a
better musician. Here we are playing Sugar.
Here's a video of me at my fav open mic doing Autumn Leaves on my
I am not much of a fan of backing tracks for public performances, so I
learned how to do multi-tracking videos at home!
By Jimmy Van Heusen. (4,500KB) Robert Griffith on flugelhorn, me on
guitar. Recorded January 2013.