Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Gibson Blindfold Test Unveiled

  • A few days I posted a Blindfold Test involving 7 Gibson guitars. I did not think anyone would be able to identify them (heck, I know I couldn't) and I was right. Still some guys were actually able to single out a few models and that is a feat in itself! It was just a fun thing and I still owe you the solution so here's the vid with the guitars "unveiled."

The correct order of the guitars is:
1. Gibson ES 125 2. Gibson Johnny Smith 3. Gibson ES 335 4. Gibson ES 175 5. Gibson L5 6. Gibson ES 350t 7. Gibson Tal Farlow

Thanks for listening and giving it a try! Especially my friends at the the jazz guitar forum.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dutch Jazz Master: Wim Overgaauw

Wim Overgaauw (1929 - 1995) is the most important Dutch jazz guitarist of his generation. He can rightly be called the nestor of Dutch guitar. He started his career as a self taught guitarist, worked in Germany for American soldiers,  toured the Netherlands with the Pim Jacobs Trio and Rita Reys and finally settled as a studio musician and guitar teacher at the conservatory in Hilversum.

Relaxin' at Camarillo (1960)

His sophisticated playing remains largely unnoticed by the general audience, probably because he was totally disinterested in the business aspect of music. The few records that were issued under his own name, were mostly in the easy listening genre. Nonetheless, they clearly showcase a fine jazz guitarist at work. This track from "Dedication" is a bit hotter though ...

Twisted Blues 1978 

With students like Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson and Maarten van der Grinten, Wim's influence as a jazz guitar teacher has literally put Dutch jazz guitar on the map. That's probably where his true heritage can be most strongly felt.

Here's Wim on two rare live takes of which the origin is unknown to me. What a wonderful player he was. His lines are perfectly logical with a relaxed feel.

Bye Bye Blackbird

Bye Bye Baby

The following recording is extremely rare. Time and place are unknown to me. Must have been in the mid nineties. You can hear Wim playing with one of his best known students Jesse van Ruller. Jesse probably was still a student. Wim takes the second solo.

It Could Happen to You (with Jesse van Ruller)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Gibson Blindfold Test

Some more guitar fun now. A few years ago I did a Gibson Blindfold Test involving 3 guitars. This year it gets way more complicated. In the vid below you will hear 7 Gibson archtops but you won't be able to see them. Each archtop clip is one minute long. They were all recorded with the same gear. Can you identify the guitars based on their sound only?

The guitars I used for the Gibson Blindfold Test are:

1976 Gibson Johnny Smith
1998 Gibson Tal Farlow
1995 Gibson L5
1987 Gibson ES 335
1951 Gibson ES 125
1982 Gibson ES 175
1992 Gibson ES 350t

I don't own all these guitars of course. These are older clips. Some I borrowed (The L5 and Johnny Smith), some I traded in over the years  (ES 335, ES 125).

To be honest. I probably could not do this myself for all 7. I tend to sound the same on any guitar. And I know, there's probably too many variables at stake for it to be scientific. Still, I would be able to pick my Gibson Tal Farlow for sure. And maybe a few others too. The clips presented in the vid are NOT on my Youtube page. None of them. No need to go there :) I will show the guitars "unveiled" later this week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Freak Pick Incident

Can you imagine anything like this happening? I mean, how great are the odds? Has it ever happened to you? I am glad I had the camera running ... Weird.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Can You Walk the Talk?

Walking bass comping is fun. Especially in a duo with two guitars, comping with bass lines thrown in can sound very groovy. You can do it with a pick. Or you just use your fingers. I kind of prefer playing like this in fingerstyle but the downside is that I need long fingernails to do that. And I don't like having those at all. So often the pick comes in. Here's a few older vids of me in that particular comping style. All fingerstyle. They were all played on a guitar I no longer own. A 1951 Gibson ES 125. The first two blues have a fast and slow version.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Drool on a Stool

Of course you know the feeling. You go into a guitar store and try out a few archtops. New or vintage. Sometimes you play a great one. Mostly one you could never get away with buying. Hard not to drool over it. But you rarely buy.

Still one of the nicer things to do. Fortunately the feeling of missing out on something does not last long. The prices are ridiculous. And you've got some nice axes at home. So who needs a new guitar anyway?

Blonde Tal Farlow

Vintage Gibson ES 175

Vintage Levin
Vintage Gibson Super 400

Thursday, December 6, 2012

In Sync with the Master

Earlier I have posted videos and tabs of some blues etudes from "Joe Pass Guitar style." "Joe Pass On Guitar" is a great book too for exploring Joe's guitaristic approach. In it Joe explains his way of thinking. The book includes 50 musical examples and three complete transcriptions, all of which are contained on the included CD.

There is also a complete overview of "The Three Harmonic Families" and the lines, scales, and chord superimpositions and substitutions that comprise this view of Joe's jazz language. (By the way, the book is related to the "Jazz Lines" video that you see on the right.). It's abit more accessible than "Joe Pass Guitar Style" because, next to standard notation, it also gives tabs.

I recorded Joe's "Major Etude" that you can find on page 22 of the book. I am playing the etude unisono with him so you can hear and see us both.

This solo incorporates many of the major ideas presented earlier in the book. It's an etude on a static Cmaj7 chord. Note the use of V7 altered scale over I chords for building and releasing tension. The V7 altered chord has b9, #9, b13 etc. Especially bars 16-18 are a bitch. The 16th note run ends in bar 18 with an octotonic scale. Bars 23 and 24 feature some hip sounds in fourths.

This solo really served as an eye-opener some 10 years ago, especially on how to play altered sounds over I chords.

Now let's sync with the master!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Gibson L5

I few years ago I hipped a friend to a Gibson L5 "Wes Montgomery" that was for sale in the States. I knew the seller from a newsgroup that I frequented at the time so I figured it was going to be a safe transaction. And it was. The L5 was paid for and shipped and it arrived in good shape. Everybody happy.

Of course I borrowed it for testing. The guitar was a signature Wes Montgomery. Here's a video of the L5 in which I am telling about its history and specifications. It's about 10 minutes long. It's in the same vein as the ones about the ES 175 and the Tal Farlow.

And of course you want to hear in action too. So here a vid in HD with some L5 sounds.

The Gibson ES 175

In my previous post I have told you about my ES 175 and showed you some pics. I did not go into details there. A few years ago I recorded this video in which I talk about its history, its specifications and its players. It's in the same vein as the video I did on the Gibson Tal Farlow in an earlier entry. The vid is about 8 minutes' long.

I have many vids in which I am playing it. Here's one: