Thursday, October 30, 2008

Matt Savage

There was an article about pianist Matt Savage in the Wall Street Journal yesterday (declared "a new Mozart" by Dave Brubeck). Here is a stream of his appearance on All Things Considered. Turns out he's a New Hampshire boy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eddie Lang on

Great post on Eddie Lang on

Eddie Lang, to many, was considered the first virtuoso guitarist. His unique style incorporated all the finer elements of Jazz, Blues, and contemporary European musics, which were all just forming within the birth of the commercial music industry. Lang was born Salvatore Massaro, son to an Italian instrument maker who immigrated to Philadelphia. He studied the violin for 11 years before leaving it to play banjo, then guitar. He was 16 when he started to play professionally, where he joined the already formed Mound City Blue Blowers. Shortly thereafter became an increasing industry interest in his unique guitar work, which placed him in many recording sessions with the "who's who" of early jazz. As was/is common, Jazz thrived on the spontaneity and distinctness of the moment. Many sessions were unique, in that the line-ups would regularly change. Although he got around, Lang regularly worked with a violinist and childhood friend, Joe Venuti. .... [continue reading]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Daddy Stovepipe Plays and Teaches the Blues

So, it was just a matter of time before high quality guitar lessons appeared on the web for free, right? I don't know who Daddy Stovepipe is (but see here and here), but his lessons are damned good. This is obviously a labor of love.

Here's his lesson on Lonnie Johnson style blues guitar. Don't forget to drop your tuning to DGDGBE ....

Here's a link to a page containing all 91 videos (as of today). There are lessons in the styles of Rev Gary Davis and Lightnin Hopkins (to name just a few), as well as a lot of really nice performances (and beautiful guitars).

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mickey Baker

Over on the Jazz Guitar Forum a poster writes:

"It was probably close to 40 years ago that I got my first introduction to jazz guitar courtesy of Mickey Baker's jazz guitar method book. The book was first published in 1955 and is currently still in print (just like me, LOL). I've always wondered about whatever happened to the guy since then. Well I found out today. I was thumbing through the latest copy of Fretboard Journal in a bookstore and read a piece that they did on him. Turns out he has been living in France since the early sixties. They've got a current picture of him holding a nasty looking gun. Looks more like a Mafia hit man than a jazz guitarist, LOL. Interesting family history too. Apparently his grandmother ran a bordello and put her 12-year old daughter to work in the family business. Mickey was the product of one of those business transactions with a Caucasian guy. The rest, as they say, is history. An interesting comment from Mickey was that he wrote the method book before he really knew what he was doing."
Yeah, me too. Mickey Baker's jazz guitar books ("Complete Course in Jazz Guitar" ) were my introduction to the art as well. I've kept my original copies, and I find them as difficult and inscrutable today as I did then.

Friday, October 03, 2008