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  1. #1

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    Les Paul Standard. With mahogany body & carved maple top. Not the Les Paul Custom, which has a carved mahogany top, used by young Jim Hall as well as young Pat Azzara (Martino).

    I can't think of any well-known non-fusion jazz guitarists, who are known to favor the LP Standard. Surely there must be or have been some. Anyone know of any such players?

    I am wondering about this because I just got a mint LP Traditional, which is a Standard that is more vintagey than today's "Standards". Plays & sounds fantastic; seems like a very viable jazz axe in the right hands. A bit heavy at 9.5 lbs. I have a bass strap on mine, so works OK.

    I got a LP Standard in 1979, my first brand new guitar, when I was 20. Seemed like an amazing instrument. Later that year I started at Berklee College of Music, and figured out quite soon that a Les Paul was not considered to be "hip" in that environment. I ended up trading that guitar straight up for a Howard Roberts Custom after a year or so. I look back on that move as a bad one, I never did bond with that HR, seemed like a guitar that was poor at all genres. I never had a LP Standard again until now.

    So, I am am interested in knowing about other jazz players who use or used this model Gibson.

    Here is my new Les Paul, in the middle, alongside my modded LP Jr. & ES LP studio gingerburst. You can blow jazz, comp, play tunes, on all these. Assuming that you can play.
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-lespauls-jpg Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-lp-new-knobs-jpg Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-les-paul-lp-standard-jpg 
    Last edited by Donelson; 03-15-2019 at 10:42 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Maybe Standards are a brighter than a mahog LPs ?

    but then again the great Ed Bickert player a tele , so
    there goes my theory ...

  4. #3
    For sure, there have been many tele users who played jazz guitar. Not so many LP Standard players, or so it seems. That is odd to me. I have played jazz on my tele plenty of times. That is fun. But the LP Standard has a much fuller, fatter sound. Seems like it would also be often used for jazz, for that reason. My tele is fairly light, like 8.1 lbs. But lots of teles are about as heavy as a LP. So it can't just be the weight.

  5. #4

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    Clint Strong has been known for using a Les Paul. But in general it's not a prominent instrument in straight-ahead jazz. Not sure why, they sound great. Heck, Les Paul's rhythm guitarist used one and managed to even emulate a nice 4 on the floor sound.

  6. #5

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    There was a similar thread a while back. You might want to search the forums.

    At the time, I mentioned Steve Erquiaga. I studied with Steve for a few years and he did every gig and every session with a Les Paul Standard and Ernie 10s, unless it was something that called for acoustic. Great player, great tone, great guy.

    SJ

  7. #6

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    Apparently, Rene Thomas used one with Sonny Rollins when the latter was touring Europe:


  8. #7

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    My old Heritage "LP" sounded great with flats and pickups set lower than usual. Uncomfortable to play while seated, however.

  9. #8

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    our boy george is tearing it up on an LP in these jack mcduff clips





    with a bigsby too, for some reason

  10. #9

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    I can't think of any jazz guitatist that played regularly on a LP standard. And although I Will get arrows thrown at me I can't think of one significant jazz tune played with it and a clean tone. Was it played by Page, Slash, early Clapton, Beck, there is always a minimum of distorsion to reveal all the warm, gorgeous harmonics that this axe is so famous for. As a happy user of a SG std, the SG seems more suited for jazz or soul maybe because it's less sophisticated than a LP, likewise tele vs strat.

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  11. #10

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    I have to use a strap. It works well that way for me.

    It is true that some jazz players use Teles, but it is still a small percent as far as I can tell. Teles have a more distinctive single coil sound, which is what I think the players are after. Those who prefer a humbucker sound aren't specifically avoiding a LP Standard. They also aren't seen in large numbers using the SG or any other solid body with humbuckers, including Guild and PRS. They tend to go to semi-hollows or hollows.

    In my view the Tele is a special instrument due to the low price point, good quality and practicality, and sound. Other solid body single coil guitars are used for jazz far less.

    All of that said, the LP Standard can give some very nice jazz sounds.







    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    My old Heritage "LP" sounded great with flats and pickups set lower than usual. Uncomfortable to play while seated, however.

  12. #11

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    If I remember correctly, I think Les Paul played one.

    I have a '68 with P-90s and TI Swing 12s, very nice jazz guitar.

  13. #12

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    Jim Hall played a black LP Custom when he was with Jimmy Giuffre. Later he got the now famous 175 which he bought from Howard Roberts - but that's another story.



  14. #13

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    For some reason??

    Actually that's a good point. I like Bigsbys sometimes. This would not be one of those times.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr quick
    our boy george is tearing it up on an LP in these jack mcduff clips

    with a bigsby too, for some reason

  15. #14

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    That looks like a circa 1954 version of the custom with the famous staple pickup. There may be other versions of the LP but none better.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    Jim Hall played a black LP Custom when he was with Jimmy Giuffre. Later he got the now famous 175 which he bought from Howard Roberts - but that's another story.



  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mr quick
    our boy george is tearing it up on an LP in these jack mcduff clips





    with a bigsby too, for some reason
    That is great, I never knew that Benson used a LP standard. Thanks.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by fakejazz
    Apparently, Rene Thomas used one with Sonny Rollins when the latter was touring Europe:

    Thanks, that is the kind of info I was looking for.

  18. #17

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    Jim Hall had gotten the 175 by the time he joined Giuffre; he played it with Chico Hamilton through that gig I think. He told me it was too small for sitting with, but he liked the sound and playability. He may have had his 175 fingerboard replaced to get closer to that feel.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    I never heard of Jack Pearson before. As soon as I heard him talk in this video I knew he must be from Middle TN same as me.

    I like finding out new things.

  20. #19

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    He may be almost unknown in the USA although he played with B.B. King, Scott Henderson, David Holland, Hermeto Pascoal and George Benson but fellow-countryman Luis Salinas used to play a Les Paul when he did jazz(he played also Latin, folklore, fusion, etc. mostly acoustic):
    Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-1-jpg

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhango
    He may be almost unknown in the USA.... Luis Salinas used to play a Les Paul when he did jazz....
    Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-1-jpg
    Thanks for that, you are right maybe about Luis being "unknown", I never heard of Luis Salinas before, my loss. I just looked at two youtubes of him playing, fantastic player. Great sound for any genre he plays and also I love the enthusiasm. I will check him out more.

  22. #21

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    Well here's a guy called Michael Sagmeister playing Pat Martino lines on a Les Paul. Sounds great to me. Guess who's sitting next to him.


  23. #22

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    To the OP, Jack Grassel played a Les Paul Artisan (similar to a Standard - maple cap/mahogany body- but fancier, with a third pickup, more inlay, gold-plating, etc. on it). You can hear it on his album Solo Burner (1993/Frozen Sky Records).
    Samples from the various tracks here:
    Solo Burner - Jack Grassel | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Jack Grassel played a Les Paul Artisan (similar to a Standard). You can hear it on his album Solo Burner.
    Thanks for that, yet another great player I never heard of until now. I may be, am, 60 YO but still have a lot to learn.


  25. #24

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    I used to get teased regularly by a bassist friend who would ask when I was gonna buy a "real jazz guitar" when I'd show up to a gig with my LP. This thread shows that it comes down to the fingers more than the axe.

    There can be a bit of snobbery in jazz about gear and players... certain axes, amps and players get "anointed" while others go unnoticed. (How did I never hear of Wim den Herder?!?!) This thread and the one about jazz shredders have turned me on to great players I didn't know about, and I think that some of the clips in this thread challenge the typical ideas about "good jazz guitar tone". Particularly, the Bobby Howe Jazz Blues Bounce clip - the tone is a bit on the thin side for me, but my own experience playing a LPD with rosewood neck indicates that that could be tweaked easily. What I like about Bobby's tone is its clarity and intonation. It is dead clean and right in tune.

    Thanks again for a ton of cool vids and info, all...

    SJ

  26. #25

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    Les Pauls sound good for jazz, after all, that's what they were designed for. But they are ungodly heavy and expensive while being very small, which means I don't want one. I have played an Epi Les Paul, which my son bought and left with me for awhile, and which I still play when I visit my son-in-law who now owns it. It's okay, but I prefer a hollowbody.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Les Pauls ... are ungodly heavy....
    Yeah, that was one of the main reasons I ditched my LP Custom for a Deluxe. Even with a big strap, my left shoulder would be incredibly sore after a gig... the Deluxe, while lighter than the Custom, is still a lot heavier than a hollowbody.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Les Pauls ... are ungodly heavy ...
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    ...one of the main reasons I ditched my LP Custom for a Deluxe ... the Deluxe, while lighter than the Custom, is still a lot heavier than a hollowbody.
    While Gibson made and continues to make heavy Les Pauls, I think the weight issue went away in the mid-1990s in that many choices started to appear regarding weight. I play chambered Les Pauls that weigh 7 - 7 1/2 pounds, which is as light as some hollowbody jazz guitars. I also play a solid-body Les Paul Custom that weigh 8 1/2 pounds, which is not heavy. My heaviest Les Paul weighs 9 pounds and even that is pretty manageable compared to the 10-13 pound Les Pauls from the 1970s and 1980s.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 03-17-2019 at 04:17 PM.

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    I think that some of the clips in this thread challenge the typical ideas about "good jazz guitar tone". Particularly, the Bobby Howe Jazz Blues Bounce clip - the tone is a bit on the thin side for me, but my own experience playing a LPD with rosewood neck indicates that that could be tweaked easily. What I like about Bobby's tone is its clarity and intonation. It is dead clean and right in tune.
    I also liked that one. Reminds me of a good tele player. Using the lead PU but getting a fat, non-harsh sound.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I play chambered Les Pauls that weigh 7 - 7 1/2 pounds, which is as light as some hollowbody jazz guitars.
    My two fave jazz boxes, Heritage H575C, & D'Angelico Excel, both weigh the same, 7.6 lbs. Fairly hefty. I rarely use a strap with them, play sitting if I can get away with that.

    The LP Traditional, pictured in the OP of this thread, is 9.56 lbs. So, two pounds heavier.

    My other three Gibsons, LP Special, SG, & ES LP, are all 6.5 lbs or less.

    Two semi-hollows I have, Ibanez & Gretsch, are almost as heavy as the LP. Well over 9 lbs.

    I think that once you get to know an axe, the weight or lack thereof has little meaning. For me anyway. You just get used to it, after a while don't even notice.

    I use the bass Comfort Strapp on the heavy axes. The long one. I totally recommend that to anyone. Makes a stand up gig very doable with the heavier guitars.

  31. #30

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    I have owned many Les Pauls and used them for jazz gigs.

    I have owned the following Gibson Lesters:

    1975 Custom
    1978 Deluxe
    1979 Standard
    1982 Artisan
    2002 57 Black Beauty reissue
    2017 Studio (my present Lester)


    Here are my observations:

    For leads and modern comping, they work, for old school rhythm, not so much ( from what I have seen, with a P-90, they can do rhythm OK)

    The maple topped ones have a more "ES-175" ish tone (Which I prefer) compared to the Hog topped one that I owned.

    They are too heavy as we get older for the most part. My current Lester has the ultra modern weight relief, is under 8 pounds and sounds great for jazz. All of the others that I had weighed between 9 and 11 pounds. At 61 years old, that kind of weight is no longer acceptable. In my 20's an 11 pound guitar was not an issue. Neither was an 85 pound Twin. Today my heaviest amp is 32 pounds and my sub 8 pound Lester is my heaviest guitar.

    Perhaps if I make it into my 90's, I'll be playing a baby Taylor through a pignose!

  32. #31

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    I've tried out the Epi Les paul's, they're a dime a dozen. I have the same problem with them, too small, too heavy. They also have a shorter scale length (like the Joe Pass Emperor), which is manageable but I don't prefer it for some of the chord stuff I work on.

    I'm curious about the Ultra III variant, which supposedly is not only hollowed out but has an acoustic pickup- I wonder if it might be capable of getting closer to an archtop tone?

    I like the SG, too, for it's weight and neck. But people will think you're a rock & roller if you show up with one.

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I have owned many Les Pauls and used them for jazz gigs.

    For leads and modern comping, they work, for old school rhythm, not so much ( from what I have seen, with a P-90, they can do rhythm OK)

    They are too heavy as we get older for the most part. At 61 years old, that kind of weight is no longer acceptable. In my 20's an 11 pound guitar was not an issue. Neither was an 85 pound Twin. Today my heaviest amp is 32 pounds and my sub 8 pound Lester is my heaviest guitar.
    Excellent reply. I am 60 YO and can relate for sure. Heavy amps, not viable. I have an Ampeg 50 watt tube amp that sounds great, it is a dust collector. Loading that thing in and out, too much work. Maybe for a special situation I would use it live. For several months my amp has been an Acoustic 50 watt bass amp, 1x10, weighs about 30 lbs, louder than I would ever need, ultra fat & clean.

    The ES LP pictured at the top of this thread, I have used several times with a traditional big band I play with sometimes. Works great for that IMO, I use the lead PU with the tone on like 2 for 4/4 rhythm for Basie, Sinatra, G. Miller, all that, volume turned down real low. Middle position for regular comping or fills, neck position for lines or blowing. That guitar is barely over 6 lbs. It has a neck angle more like a jazz box, so the strings are a good bit higher off of the body than a regular solidbody LP.

    I got the 9.5 lb. LP Traditional a week ago kind of on a lark, it is so beautiful & I got a great deal on it, I had not had a regular LP in decades & sort of craved that sound. I hope that I will make good use of it before I am too old to pick it up.

    I never had a full size jazz box until I had been playing for about 10 years, started out with SG & LP, so the small size of these guitars feels like home base to me.
    Last edited by Donelson; 03-18-2019 at 08:23 PM.

  34. #33

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    Only mainstream guy on a Standard I could recall was mid-60s Benson.

  35. #34
    Anthony Wilson and Diego Figueiredo.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by jiepeihuang47
    Anthony Wilson and Diego Figueiredo.
    New names to me. Both outstanding players. I found clips on youtube of each of them playing LP standards. Thank you.

  37. #36

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    Don Mock, nice version and sound...

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stbatz


    Don Mock, nice version and sound...
    Don's Lester is a 50th Anniversary R9, weighs less than 8.5 pounds and sounds great!

    Top notch player to be sure.....

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Don's Lester is a 50th Anniversary R9, weighs less than 8.5 pounds and sounds great!

    What's not to like about that? Very nice clip indeed!

    You 60/61 year old fellas aughta enjoy those 30 lb amps and 9 lb guitars while you still can! It can go downhill pretty darn quick from there. My 30 lb tube amp feels like my ol' Mesa Mark1 100 watt used to feel to me when I was 20.

    And my ol' 71 LP custom? Loved the look, feel and sound but sold that when I was about 40. The reason should be pretty obvious. Gigs were long affairs in those days...

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Stbatz
    Don Mock, nice version and sound...
    Thank you, I forgot about Don Mock. I saw him give a guitar clinic one time, mists of time, maybe when I lived in Boston early 80's. Fantastic player.

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    You 60/61 year old fellas aughta enjoy those 30 lb amps and 9 lb guitars while you still can! It can go downhill pretty darn quick from there. My 30 lb tube amp feels like my ol' Mesa Mark1 100 watt used to feel to me when I was 20.
    The lightest gigworthy amp I own is a Roland Cube 40xl. Weighs about 20 lbs. I actually have two of them, once in a while I will use them both together, not that often though.

  42. #41
    OP here, I couldn't help myself; just went outside & took these 3 pics of my beauteous new axe. Taken seconds apart out on the carport. No camera trickery or photoshoppery going on, all I did was rotate the guitar stand. The lighting angle reveals different aspects of its look. I am not trying to induce any jazz guitar enthusiasts to get such an axe.
    Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-lpx3carport-jpg

  43. #42

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    If you want what many think of when they hear "LP Standard" what you want is actually a LP Traditional. Don't know exactly when the change was made by Gibson.

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    If you want what many think of when they hear "LP Standard" what you want is actually a LP Traditional. Don't know exactly when the change was made by Gibson.
    That is just what this guitar is, 2016 Les Paul Traditional. It is more akin in many ways to the original 1958/59/60 LP standards, than the current Gibson LP standard model. Most obvious differences, truss rod cover that says "Traditional", and the Nashville bridge instead of the venerable ABR-1 bridge. I myself actually like the Nashville bridge, much easier to get the right intonation without reversing the saddles.

  45. #44

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    John Abercrombie w/ LP Deluxe:




    Al DiMeola w/ LP:




    Ray Gomez, actual 1959 'burst:

    Last edited by Sam Sherry; 03-24-2019 at 05:44 PM.

  46. #45

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    Lee Ritenour


  47. #46

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    Ulf Wakenius plays some kind of Les Paul copy, possibly an Aria.


  48. #47

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    Jack Grassel w/ LP Artisan, live.......


  49. #48

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  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC
    Lee Ritenour
    I hate to seem like some critic. But, I wish the keyboard player had laid out on this tune. What he plays would maybe be OK on some other tune. But he stepped all over the two guitar sound. Doesn't fit at all. IMO.

    Ritenour goes at it like a guy on a bar gig that is feelin' it after a few brews! A side of his playing that is new to me.

  51. #50
    Here is a player that I had forgotten about, as far as having been a Les Paul player. Looks like a LP Deluxe in the pic on the back cover. Lorne Lofsky. I came across this record "It Could Happen To You" in a Boston used records store, like 1980-1981. Never heard of him. But I liked the picture with the Les Paul (front cover has an ES175, probably some stock photo) & the tune selection, also on a name label Pablo. So I bought it. Listened to and played along with that LP many times back then. Excellent jazz trio record.
    Gibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-lofsky-lp-crop-jpgGibson Les Paul - What well-known jazz guitar players have used one?-lofsky-lp-jpg