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  1. #1

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    Wow ... just wow.

    DB


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Tell us more!

  4. #3

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    Wow, DB! That's a "Bucket List" experience.

  5. #4

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    Talk about a cliff hanger.

  6. #5

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    I want to hear the story of this one! Would this be the guitar on the cover of Full House?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    Wow ... just wow.

    DB

    Man, you can't drop Wes' name, play HIS axe (very nicely, by the way) and not give us the back story.
    Details! We need details...Please.

  8. #7

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    That was cool.
    And, I've never seen somebody so HAPPY playing a guitar in my life!
    Great playing and thanks for sharing that.
    Joe D

  9. #8

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    Thanks for sharing this with us, DB. Look forward to hearing the story behind this. The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5

  10. #9

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    this?

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-maxresdefault-jpg

    cheers

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M.
    I want to hear the story of this one! Would this be the guitar on the cover of Full House?
    Yes. According to the owner this is the guitar on the cover.

    DB

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Man, you can't drop Wes' name, play HIS axe (very nicely, by the way) and not give us the back story.
    Details! We need details...Please.
    Apparently the owner has an article on this particular guitar that he has promised to send me. I'll hope to do a Blog entry later for a full story on the guitar.

    DB

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    this?

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-maxresdefault-jpg

    cheers
    Yes, and these two, according to the owner.

    DB

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-wes-friends-pic-jpgThe Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-71fwt1jj20l-_sx425_-jpg

  14. #13

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    I believe Wes had six L-5's in about a 10 yr span.
    1) 50s sunburst w/Alnico pu's
    2) late 50s sunburst twin humbucker Venetian cutaway
    3) the blonde '60 Venetian cutaway that DB played in clip.
    4) early 60s sunburst florentine cutaway that Benson bought, I believe Metheny owns it now
    5) mid 60s sunburst single pu venetian cutaway w/his name inlaid in pearl next to the guard, was on display in children's museum in Indianapolis
    6) mid 60s sunburst single pu venetian cutaway w/heart inlay next to guard (this is the one that was in a house fire and restored by Gibson, sold through Mandolin Bros.)

    Looking forward to DBs info about the '60 he played, and yes the look on his face is priceless

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I believe Wes had six L-5's in about a 10 yr span.
    1) 50s sunburst w/Alnico pu's
    2) late 50s sunburst twin humbucker Venetian cutaway
    3) the blonde '60 Venetian cutaway that DB played in clip.
    4) early 60s sunburst florentine cutaway that Benson bought, I believe Metheny owns it now
    5) mid 60s sunburst single pu venetian cutaway w/his name inlaid in pearl next to the guard, was on display in children's museum in Indianapolis
    6) mid 60s sunburst single pu venetian cutaway w/heart inlay next to guard (this is the one that was in a house fire and restored by Gibson, sold through Mandolin Bros.)

    Looking forward to DBs info about the '60 he played, and yes the look on his face is priceless
    I have seen a picture of Wes playing an L-5C with a Dearmond (page 242 of Summerfield's book "The Jazz Guitar" 4th edition). I wonder if Wes owned one of those as well?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I have seen a picture of Wes playing an L-5C with a Dearmond (page 242 of Summerfield's book "The Jazz Guitar" 4th edition). I wonder if Wes owned one of those as well?
    iirc, that belonged to Ike Isaacs, Wes had dinner at his home when he was on tour.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    iirc, that belonged to Ike Isaacs, Wes had dinner at his home when he was on tour.
    It might have been Cedric West's ,he had one and I did have a pic of him with Wes in Cedric's house
    Ike Isaacs and Cedric were very good friends and I had the good fortune to meet Ike several times.
    A fantastic player and an absolute gentleman ( he taught Martin Taylor originally )

  18. #17

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    Guys, have a look at the pattern of the tortoise pickguard on both the album cover of "Wes and Friends" (left) and the guitar as I photographed it (right) and tell me what you see.

    DB

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-wes-l5-jpg

  19. #18

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    Looks like somebody stole Wes' pickguard?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Looks like somebody stole Wes' pickguard?
    that's a good one, I just wanted to post that the pickguard is definitely the same, so we have proof, but you made me uncertain about this...

  21. #20

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    I definitely believe this is the guitar in question, but I am still very interested in the provenance.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    Guys, have a look at the pattern of the tortoise pickguard on both the album cover of "Wes and Friends" (left) and the guitar as I photographed it (right) and tell me what you see.

    DB

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-wes-l5-jpg
    Unless photo exposure or color balance is involved, I'm noticing (a) how the guitar's finish aged and darkened over time and (b) the pickguard seems to have out-gassed and corroded the pickup covers a bit. But to me the pick guards look identical.

  23. #22

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    That's definitely the pickguard...I'd bet money that's THE guitar too.

    Dang, that's cool.

  24. #23

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    My photo interpretation leads me to the same conclusion as Lawson and Jeff. BINGO! It's a match.

    Again, what a bucket list experience, DB.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    My photo interpretation leads me to the same conclusion as Lawson and Jeff. BINGO! It's a match.

    Again, what a bucket list experience, DB.
    Yeah cool huh. But there's a downside to it. I actually went to the owner to check out a 2007 L5 but after playing the 1960 Wes I lost interest. It blew away the 2007 so hard that I only had eyes for the Wes guitar.

    DB

  26. #25

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    I wonder if this guitar would help my problem. I am a pick and fingerstyle player and when I need speed I have to go to the pick. I cannot use my thumb as for downstroke picking because it feels weird and I would need to cut my thumb nail all the way down. I am I the only person with this issue? I am pretty sure that is the case. To solve the problem someone ship me the guitar and I will try it out for a month.

    Seriously DB this is cool and I would liketo hear you play this in your own studio set up. To play a guitar like this is a treat and sure makes for some reflective thoughts about the past. Normally who owned a guitar and celebrity status means zero to me but in this case it is a complete exception. I always get a kick out of the celebrity status guitars as most overblown for sure. In this case a true jazz giant and his guitar, this beats them all. I even got to play Johnny Smith D'angelico New Yorker too, but of course he was alive and well at the time and handed it to me to play. I have a real feeling that Wes was a pretty humble man even though he knew he played well.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    It might have been Cedric West's ,he had one and I did have a pic of him with Wes in Cedric's house
    Ike Isaacs and Cedric were very good friends and I had the good fortune to meet Ike several times.
    A fantastic player and an absolute gentleman ( he taught Martin Taylor originally )
    I thought about Cedric, I think he was playing a White Falcon w/Wes in some of those pics, I just did a Google search on Ike and don't see him w/ an L5 in any shots, so it may have been Cedric's guitar.
    But you're right, fantastic player Isaacs was and not very well known on this side of the pond.

  28. #27

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    Bummer. Contrary to what I had hoped, it seems I won't be able to access any more interesting information on the 1960 blonde L5. My conclusion is that is undoubtedly the guitar with which Wes' is portrayed on the cover of the "Wes and Friends" albums and possibly on "Full House" and "Boss Guitar" too but there is no real evidence for that right now. If Wes played or even owned this guitar remains a mystery for now. Did he use it on "Full House" as the cover of that album suggests? Or maybe on "Boss Guitar?" Or was only used for the photo's? Maybe someone else can shed some light on the subject. But it IS the guitar Wes is holding on the cover of at least one album. That I am sure of.

    I do have another short clip of the guitar.


  29. #28

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    i posted this years ago- but still pertinent- from kenny burrell



    "I was very close to Wes and his brothers. I met Wes when I was a teenager in Detroit. He and his friends used to drive from Indianapolis to hear me play"


    "I was working at the time, at the Village Vanguard I think, so I was using my L-5, but always had a couple other electrics, and so I let him have my L-7 for his first record (The Wes Montgomery Trio). I think he used my Fender Deluxe."


    from great vintage guitar mag kb interview-

    Kenny Burrell |

    much more good stuff..great read!!

    cheers

  30. #29

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    Regardless of how much contact Wes had with that guitar, it sounds like a superb example of a Gibson archtop. Thanks for posting!

  31. #30

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    That's an interesting question and one I've always wondered as I've never seen a live shot of him playing that guitar. He's playing a sunburst model on the back cover of Full House which is a live shot from the club.
    It's just record cover pics that the blonde appears on from what I can see.
    btw DB what kind of amp are you playing it through? that reverb, whew!

  32. #31

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    the fact that there's no wear or any kind of "guard" where he pivoted his right hand fingers while thumbing had me wondering as well




    cheers

  33. #32

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    Wonderful..
    Guitars like this are the stuff dreams are made of
    its a gorgeous piece

  34. #33

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    That L5 sounds HUGE! Nice work on "Misty", too.

    Looks like another shot of Wes caressing that beautiful instrument.


  35. #34

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    I'm starting to think he never owned the guitar at all, just used for publicity stills.
    Still, the one DB played is certainly the one in those shots.
    But a '60 L-5CESN is something to get excited about regardless...

  36. #35

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    Keep the guitar. I'll take his right thumb!

    You are a very lucky dude. I like your smile.

  37. #36

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    Has there ever been a more joyful-looking jazz musician than Wes Montgomery? It just radiates from him every time you see a picture of him holding a guitar.

  38. #37

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    No, excellent point and a beautiful thing, his smile was as authentic as his playing.
    His peers always said so, he was universally loved and as unpretentious as they come.
    Had a relatively short career as a major artist, what about 10 yrs or so?
    There are always going to be great players popping up but will there ever be someone quite like him? Can never say for certain, there are many wonderful players but that guy just seemed to be a true original, a beacon in jazz guitar, much like his idol, Christian and Django...

  39. #38

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    For the new Blog entry click here. I added some new pics of the guitar in the post.

    DB

  40. #39

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    This is just awesome. I'm just giddy with excitement about this. You got to play a guitar used by WES MONTGOMERY. I have a few books from my Doktor Vater's library, with his annotations in them, and that thrills me. This... this is a whole other thing.

    It also reminds me how sad it is that we can't track down Joe Pass's 1960's ES175.

    That can be your next project!

  41. #40

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    How cool!

    Happy for you that you got to play such an iconic instrument. Downside is: you're spoiled forever...

  42. #41

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    Funny how grain and tortoise PG's are like fingerprints. There's absolutely no doubt that those gits are one and the same.

  43. #42

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    What severe damage did it have that required restoration?

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    What severe damage did it have that required restoration?
    The "heart" guitar was also damaged by fire/smoke/water, and later restored by Gibson. Maybe both guitars were together?

    PS - Here's another one:

    The Mystery of Wes Montgomery's Blonde Gibson L-5-wes-jpg

  45. #44

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    By the way, with help of a French guitarist who sent me an article on this particular guitar, the mystery has been solved completely!

    I'll have to write a new Blog entry for the final truth on this guitar. Coming up.

    DB

  46. #45

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    New Blog entry. Click here.

    Have fun.

    DB

  47. #46

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    Thanks, DB! No matter if he owned it or not, I'm sure he ran a few of his great lines on it during the photo shoot!

  48. #47

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    Cool, cool story. Loved reading about it here and on your blog!

  49. #48

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    Wow! I know this feeling: I played the “heart” guitar at Mandolin Brothers. I was not worthy...

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    New Blog entry. Click here.

    Have fun.

    DB
    The serial number of that 1960 L5 CESN places it as a very early January guitar. I bet it has a 1959 "S" FON or factory order number, which means the guitar was actually built in 1959. What was the neck profile like? I assume it was quite comfortable and not an overly thin profile. Great story. Thanks for sharing!

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    The serial number of that 1960 L5 CESN places it as a very early January guitar. I bet it has a 1959 "S" FON or factory order number, which means the guitar was actually built in 1959. What was the neck profile like? I assume it was quite comfortable and not an overly thin profile. Great story. Thanks for sharing!
    It had the best neck on an L5 that I ever played. The neck on the 2007 that I played side by side to the 1960 L5 was a lot chunkier. And the difference in weight was striking. Also the top plate on the 2007 L5 was way thicker. I think Gibson is totally overbuilding modern L5s (as they are overbuilding every archtop by the way). The 1960 L5 was almost a different guitar. A sobering experience really. But wait. Let me turn this into a separate thread because I'd like some opinions on the issue.

    DB