I’ve always loved jazz guitar.
One of the highlights in my life was being able to study with the extraordinary jazz guitarist, John La Chapelle (above left), who was Larry Coryell’s guitar teacher when he was a youngster and introduced him to jazz, and the two maintained their friendship over the years.
Jazz guitar is perhaps the most difficult to learn well of the guitar styles I enjoy, and I wish I had more time learning with John, but my time with him was cut short when he became ill, and then subsequently passed away.
As a result, I got a glimpse into what it means to play jazz competently on the guitar, but didn’t get there myself, so one of my goals now that I’m retired is to learn to play the guitar better.
There’s four kinds of guitar playing I really enjoy listening to and want to get better at: jazz chord melody and improvisation, fingerstyle arrangements, as well as classic rock or blues (think CSNY, or Clapton, McCartney, or Young Unplugged).
It really helps to have the right tools for what you’re doing, and I’m pretty well equipped for fingerstyle guitar with my short scale Collings OM2C (above), which is a beautiful sounding and playing guitar.
For acoustic blues my Waterloo (by Collings) WL-14L is a wonderful guitar (below left). Mine’s got the optional ladder-bracing and carbon fiber T-bar, and it is an extremely light, comfortable, and responsive guitar to play.
I really have been wanting a smaller and more comfy to hold jazz-focused guitar, and I noticed that Joe Vinikow (Archtop.com, in Seattle) had a used Collings Eastside LC Deluxe archtop guitar for sale on his website (below), so I made an appointment with Joe to take a look at it.
The Collings Eastside LC Deluxe archtop guitar utilizes a single Lollar Charlie Christian pickup (the Charlie Christian is by far my favorite style of jazz guitar pickup), and it was designed to have vintage tone for the professional jazz player (with attention to detail like using a DiMarzio 500K pot with a Jupiter Vintage Yellow cap, for example).
I’ve been agonizing about whether or not to keep my Adirondack Spruce and Brazilian Rosewood Gibson Advanced Jumbo (above right), as I wasn’t playing it much, but it was such a beautiful and great sounding guitar that I was loathe to let it go.
After agonizing about it, I decided I would trade my Gibson AJ (above) in on the Collings if it played well, which I figured it probably did, as Collings is known for their quality construction and setup.
I also decided to consign a couple of other guitars that I had, my mint Larrivee Model P-09 Rosewood Parlor guitar (above), and my mint Eastman Uptown AR910CE Archtop guitar (below).
I am the original owner of all of these guitars, and if you think you might be interested in one of them I’m giving you advance warning, as they will be appearing on Archtop.com for sale in the near future. If you think you want one you can reserve it early by sending Joe an email HERE.
I had done an all-nighter the night before so I was really beat, but made to the road trip to Joe’s yesterday morning to look at and try out the Collings Eastside LC Deluxe he had for sale, which was on consignment from a pro player in LA.
Joe has a beautiful selection of guitars, and many of them are consignments from pro players around the world who only trust Joe to get them sold to a deserving client looking for a nice guitar.
Joe’s store is a lot of fun, with more amazing guitars than you can imagine, like the beautiful selection of Selmer-Maccaferri style of guitars above. Just a heads up, Joe had a number of beautiful guitars by Shelly Park, if you want to avoid the long waiting list this is your chance.
New guitars are coming in all the time at Joe’s, and only a fraction of them are up on his website at any given time due to it taking time to get them all checked out and listed, so if you are looking for something in particular, you can contact Joe and find out what he has that hasn’t been listed yet.
I was so tired from doing an all-nighter plus the long drive to Seattle I could barely see straight, but I got a chance to play the Collings Eastside LC Deluxe archtop guitar. It only took a few seconds to determine the Collings was in great shape and played beautifully, so I bought it.
I also got a chance to briefly play a number of the other guitars at Joe’s while he was writing up the sale … the stuff of dreams … before turning around and making the long drive home.
I was so tired driving home I made a couple of stops to get out and walk around a bit to stay alert, and then when I got home I immediately took a couple hour nap and called it an early night.
Next time I do a road trip I plan to make it more leisurely, but I have a time crunch going on right now, so this one was compressed time-wise.
I’m back home now and have lots to do on the audio front, but this morning I’m focusing on a little guitar playing!
I just had the sudden inspiration that I should investigate having BTPA make me a custom guitar cord out of Belden 8402.
Update: I contacted BTPA and placed the order, and they’re making one up for me with Neutrik connectors. I let you know how it turns out!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!