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  1. #51

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    One of the most surprising things I heard in this video is how he didn't really care to keep his skills up, that he left his guitar in its case for long periods.

    This shows us that too much of anything can get old. I suppose I got a small taste of it when I played in an orchestra years ago. I do remember getting bored and frustrated during long sessions. Johnny had to have been brutalized by his commitments to broadcasting, gigging and practicing.

    I guess I should be happy that I can't play as much as I want.

    I also was a bit surprised that he saw amplification mostly as a means to get louder. I know that sounds obvious, but it really is profound. That interview was done in the day of the electric guitar.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    Although this interview was posted here months ago, and discussed at great length with the guitarist who did the interview, it still remains the definitive source of info about how JS played the guitar.

    It cleared up once and for all the role of the forearm in picking across the strings, and I still practice all of the arp studies in Aids To Technique how he advises in the video.

    Some of his techniques, which seemed profound when I read about them in print interviews, turned out to be fairly ordinary when he demonstrated them in the video. I'm mainly talking about his 'organ' derived way of moving from chord to chord.

    There's a biography on JS that still hasn't come out yet. It was written by the UK guitarist who did all the Mantovani sessions.

  4. #53

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    He did things in songs that no one else could pull off. He rarely played the same line twice in an arrangement. And he would always throw some thing in that mere mortals could not do. Decending bass lines along with ascending melody lines at the same time, with a pick no less.. As much as I love Joe pass, I still believe Johnny to be the technical Grand Master.
    This video filled the only thing missing for me in my guitar life. To hear my idol speak, at length, was a bow on the gift that I've received from him. all the years of admiring his music. My feeble attempts at playing his stuff. Just hearing him speak, proved to me what a really special human he was. I wish I could have met him. He was a genius and a gentleman.
    Joe D

  5. #54

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    Lin Flanagan has been working on it for some time. I'm on the waiting list.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    There's a biography on JS that still hasn't come out yet. It was written by the UK guitarist who did all the Mantovani sessions.

  6. #55

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    I also was a bit surprised that he saw amplification mostly as a means to get louder. I know that sounds obvious, but it really is profound. That interview was done in the day of the electric guitar.
    Jim Hall saw it the other way around: "I actually use an amplifier to play softer, because I feel that I can get a beautiful sound out of the guitar, and still project with an amplifier. I don’t have to hit the strings hard.”
    Last edited by PMB; 08-23-2015 at 09:43 PM.

  7. #56

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    Some of his techniques, which seemed profound when I read about them in print interviews, turned out to be fairly ordinary when he demonstrated them in the video. I'm mainly talking about his 'organ' derived way of moving from chord to chord.
    I don't know about profound but it certainly contributed to his sound. I've rarely seen the opening chords to "Moonlight in Vermont" transcribed correctly, i.e. descending on the same string set with close position voicings but that's the only way to approximate Johnny Smith's immediately identifiable legato with its almost Hawaiian lap-steel quality.

  8. #57

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    The decending chords are played on the middle four strings; many people try to play them on the top four and the stretches there are impossible for most hands- you end up having to sacrifice the bass note on some of them. Even on the middle four it's sort of a stretch.

  9. #58

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    Can someone tell me what chords he is using in the opening to Moonlight in Vermont?

  10. #59

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    The first three chords are inversions of a C6/Am7 chord:




    followed by an E-7:


    then a D-9 (no root):


    and a G13b9:


    The C6/Am7 chords are repeated then followed by Bb7, Bb9#11 and Bb7 (no root). The last chord is simplified to an open D string and Ab 1st fret/3rd string in this video but it's played as noted below in the original 1952 recording:

    x. - x. - x.5.3.1.x.x

    A few of the notes are ghosted in that same recording but these are the chords as JS conceived them (I've seen them written out in his own hand).
    Last edited by PMB; 08-25-2015 at 04:38 AM.

  11. #60
    destinytot Guest
    I'm pretty sure Troy Grady's graphic analyses have helped me appreciate the content (which I prefer with subtitles for the hard-of-thinking), but this video really speaks to me. There is so much substance behind this man's style - including what he says in a few (soft-spoken) words on technique.

    From its full tone, the three-octave Maj7 arpeggio around 1m50 of Moonlight in Vermont seems to be played horizontally. It seems to me that several great players have drawn on this and also adapted it - with 'enclosures', 'chromatic approach/embellishment' and such elements.

    Those elements are what I'm turning my attention to - according to my current musical priorities (1. rhythm 2. dynamics 3. consonance 4. 'blues') and based on growing familiarity with the fretboard. A short-scale neck is opening up more horizontal playing to me (it's suddenly easy to do a same-string major 3rd interval strech), but I'm listening to Django's articulation on a longer-scale.

    It seems to that some of my heroes have listened very closely to Johnny Smith's
    smooth articulation (of single notes and chordal passages) - and to his beautiful tone.
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-26-2015 at 07:53 AM.

  12. #61
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB

    and a G13b9:

    Love this. Just sounded G3 & F3 at the piano, and played that Emaj triad over it - beautiful!

  13. #62

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    'Afternoon all!

    I've been watching some of the posts in recent times with interest and thought you would like to know the good news. It has been a long time coming (far too long), but Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith is now available at last from Centerstream Publishing. Also, there's an official website for the Great Man:

    Best wishes,
    Lin Flanagan

  14. #63

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    Thanks for the post! Johnny lived out his life in Colorado Springs...had a music shop there. Many tried to talk me into visiting his shop when he was still hanging around the shop. I had heard that he went deaf in his later years. Tragic.

    I also remember seeing some great JS Gibsons on consignment racks. All the young kids were asking "Who was Johnny Smith?" Perhaps if Jimmy Page had played a JS instead of a LP they would have known who he was.

  15. #64

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    Eddie, I can assure you that Johnny wasn't deaf at all. Far from it. His eyesight wasn't great towards the end, but his hearing was absolutely fine.

  16. #65

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    Hey Lin, I tried ordering it for my library, but they said it was just published, so they told me to try again in Oct.

    Do you discuss how he got that incredible sound in the studio on his "Foursome" LPs on Roost?

    Do you go into his picking technique in depth? Did he talk about working out his single line solos on his records, or were they all completely improvised?

    Thanks for writing a book on one of the world's greatest guitar players!

  17. #66

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    Thanks for everybody's kind support and good wishes. There was a chapter which was dedicated to the analysis of Johnny's playing. Unfortunately, I had to remove it because page numbers were limited. Nevertheless, I managed to work some of the information into the biography, and I've saved the whole chapter for the follow-on Johnny Smith project.

    Signing copies is probably not viable, unfortunately, but thank you for the kind gesture, Dennis. Living in Britain has a lot of drawbacks (Don't get me started on a rant, though) and the cost of postage to the US is just one of them. Aside from which, my ego would probably inflate and I would be in danger of actually thinking that I was important. Eek!

    Marty! Yes, I do remember you!


  18. #67

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    I was wondering how your conversation went with Jor-El? (Johnny Smith's father)

  19. #68

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    Actually, what's going on here is quite a bit more than just Max Dijulio's piece. His Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in One Movement was... a single-movement piece. This is only the first fifteen minutes of the Youtube video/audio. Max composed it specifically for Johnny and it was premiered in 1968. Max had it recorded privately and the original copy has a much better sound quality. The Youtube version will be several generations down the line, hence the lesser quality. Incidentally, Max also composed a mass for Johnny and a choir of five voices, Littlemass, which is haunting. Johnny premiered it in 1969 and Max had that recorded privately, too.

    The rest of this Youtube clip is actually Johnny Richards' Annotations of the Muses, for which Johnny was a member of the orchestra in 1955. You should be able to hear the difference in musical style between Max Dijulio's Concerto and Richards' Annotations. The latter is available on CD with much better sound quality on the Legende label.

    I hope that helps to increase some knowledge.

    With best intentions,

    Lin Flanagan

  20. #69

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    Lin- are the two Dijulio pieces available on disc or vinyl?

    My favorite recording of Johnny with strings was his LP "My Dear Little Sweetheart" which IMHO was a perfect blend of his D'Angelico and string orchestra, which can only be described as warm. I don't think that was part of the Mosaic set.

  21. #70

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    I don't have any proof, but Johnny seems to me to be inspired by Segovia and classical guitar (kind of like Harry Volpe): the precision, the attention to tone, the solo pieces he wrote, the attention to solo repertoire, the way he dressed, the way he carried himself...

  22. #71

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    from great interview:

    Matt: How about on classical guitar, did you have any favorites?

    Johnny: Oh yeah, Segovia. He was the, in the early days he was about the only classical guitarist of note. I still respect him as being really the forerunner of classical guitar. Then came Julian Bream and all these different guys.

    Matt: Did you ever get a chance to hear Segovia perform?

    Johnny: Oh yeah, I sure did. When I was with Bing (Crosby) in London on one occasion. He was staying at the same hotel, and this hotel was, they kind of catered to big names, you know. And hell, he’d walk around the lobby and nobody’d bother him. But I got him to autograph his book for me.

  23. #72

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    Does Girl with The Flaxen Hair qualify ?

    A Debussy prelude.....another gorgeous piece just nailed by Johnny Smith.

  24. #73

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    Unfortunately, Johnny's premieres of both of Max DiJulio's pieces were only recorded privately, so they have never been issued on vinyl or CD. I looked into the feasibility of making that happen, but (considering the distance in time) it's impossible to identify all the performers who were involved and then track them down in order to obtain their consent. I'll keep working at it, though.

    You're absolutely correct – the Mosaic box set didn't include Johnny's two albums with orchestral accompaniment or his three albums with female singers. They kept the set within the bounds of Johnny's instrumental small combo work.

    Much of what Johnny played on the guitar was influenced by the piano (e.g. Chord voicings, three-octave runs, etc.), but much of how he played it was influenced by classical musicians, including classical guitarists (most notably Segovia, as he was the most prominent classical guitarist of the mid-C20th). Hence, while other jazz guitarists were focusing their attention on finding the right note, Johnny was pursuing the classical ethos of finding the right tone and improving his technique for both hands by meticulously practicing long scale runs and arpeggios, all of which were part of the daily practice schedule for classical musicians, but totally alien to jazz guitarists. There were also classical and Segovian influences upon Johnny's choice of repertoire.

    As for how he conducted himself as a person... That came from his upbringing rather than any Segovian influence. At the risk of appearing tactless (which is not intended), if you get a chance to read his biography you'll discover quite a bit about his formative years and how these shaped his personality. In talking to Johnny and his brother, it was obvious that the Great Depression years were real John Steinbeck days. But neither of them made a big deal out of it. This is just the way it was. Nevertheless, despite the absolute destitution, their parents raised them to treat everybody with respect and to conduct themselves in a polite and classy manner.



  25. #74

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    Lin- Did Johnny extend his classical influence to pre-planning or writing out his single line solos, in order to achieve the 'right tone' on his records?

    This is not to insinuate that Johnny didn't or couldn't improvise; the recordings of him playing live in a club in Colorado show that he definitely improvised in live situations, but they lack the melodic cohesion of his solos on his records.

    His recorded solos are perfectly executed, complete melodic statements, rather than the stream-of-consciousness solos that were typical of both the swing, bebop and Cool

    Rhythmically, his solos also differ from the jazz solos of those three periods. This is made clear on his recordings with Hank Jones in the 1960s; Johnny's classical approach to eighth notes differs greatly from Hank Jones' bebop approach.

    On the recordings with Bob Pancoast in the 50s on Roost, there is so little difference in their rhythmic approaches that this is not noticeable.

  26. #75

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    Ooh, that's a very good question! And the answer is rather complex. Having read Marty's post about his Emrad amp, where some messages cited, uncited, re-cited, mis-cited, near-cited and short-cited (?) each other to the point that some of us forgot what we were arguing about… I need to choose my words carefully to make sure that I don't open up a Pandora's box of multi-misunderstandings.

    Johnny never wrote down any of his single-line solos. The recordings and live dates that he did during the 1950s were improvised. He had a box of favorite phrases that he would repeatedly call upon, as we all do, but generally no more than that. His particular phraseology and his restrained approach in the recording studio make some of those recorded solos sound premeditated (too melodic?), but they weren't. Johnny was aware that premeditated music usually has more 'melodic cohesion' and he aimed to incorporate this characteristic into his improvised music. His 'melodic statements' (you're right to use both of these terms) do sometimes sound too crafted to be off the cuff, but that's exactly what he was aiming to achieve in his improvisations – crafted solos. This is part of the reason why he earned a reputation among New York's jazz guitar community in the late 1940s and 1950s as a formidable improviser. He certainly wouldn't have survived playing in Birdland night after night and week after week if his live and recorded solos had been premeditated.

    When he settled in Colorado and opened his music store, Johnny was under less of a spotlight. During this period, some of his lead lines were wholly improvised, while others were partially improvised. By which I mean that when he was improvising, he would 'stumble across' phrases that he really liked at particular points in the solo and would keep them in thereafter. Over time, there would be increasingly more of these in each solo and they acted as a framework between which improvised phrases would sit. This is what Johnny meant when he famously stated that he wasn't really a true jazz guitarist. His lead lines were often not 100% improvised. But this should not be misconstrued that they were 100% premeditated.

    The club recordings that are floating around are from the 1980s. By this time, Johnny was performing less frequently. The virtuosity and pureness of tone were still present, but he preferred to spend his time fishing etc. I wouldn't say that he didn't care any more. Far from it. But, he had earned the right to spend his time indulging in his hobbies rather than spending hour after hour working on his music for increasingly fewer gigs.

    A complex answer, which I hope has shed some light. Marty, I hope you're still having fun with that Emrad!


  27. #76

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    Thanks for the thoughtful answer, Lin. It just increases my respect for the artistry of Johnny all the more.
    There have been some Johnny Smith detractors over the years, and hopefully your book will resolve their issues.

    I recall when I was doing a musical with the well-known guitarist Billy Butler, I was obsessed with Johnny's solo guitar arrangements and would play them when we were warming up in the orchestra pit.
    He recognized one of them, and said, "You know Johnny Smith didn't do those arrangements himself; he used to copy the piano solos of this pianist who put out some sheet music of his arrangements of the tunes. I remember he singled out Johnny's arrangement of "Autumn Serenade" as being one of them.

    Did you ever come across this?

  28. #77

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    You're most welcome. Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Oh, that's a new bit of mythology to me. I thought I had heard them all. But rest assured, it's wholly untrue. Johnny worked out his own chord-melody arrangements and didn't have a pianist who did them for him. 'Autumn Nocturne' is a beautiful example of his work. Totally Johnny.

    Yes, there have been a few detractors over the years, but such is life. I think it's fair to say that these are overwhelmingly out-weighed by those who admired and appreciated Johnny. There have also been a considerable amount of articles in guitar literature and academic works which have merely been lifted from other (usually online) sources without any research to check the validity. The information in his biography is wholly accurate, but I had to stop myself from repeatedly pointing out that numerous facts were "contrary to popular belief." Anyway, it was a lot of fun discovering the truth!

  29. #78

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    Yes, Johnny's musical abilities in those days aroused a lot of strange theories about him which may have been predicated on envy, more than anything else.

    On the West Coast, there are more than a few well-known guitarists who have attacked Johnny's reputation on his dealings with John Collins and John D'Angelico.

    They claim that Johnny wouldn't return John Collins' D'Angelico, because he had sent a D'Angelico (either his or Collins') to Gibson, with a copy of the plans for the guitar's construction obtained from John D'Angelico, for the construction of the Johnny Smith Model guitar.

    The story concludes with Jimmy D'Aquisto visiting John D. in the hospital, angered over Johnny's actions, and asking John D. if they should sue him.

    John D's reply was, "Forget him Jimmy, he's just a whore."

  30. #79

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    I know the 'John Collins borrowed guitar' story has made the rounds, and the version I remembered of it had Johnny Smith borrowing Collin's D/A and having liked it so much decided he'd keep it and ordered another from John D/A for John Collins. That way -- Johnny Smith had a D/A immediately, and John Collins had to wait while D/A built him one.
    There was even something about the deposit ( or a portion ) for the Collins guitar being paid by Johnny Smith. This part of the story to me is plausible - -not at all flattering to Johnny Smith if true, but plausible.

    However, I find the part about the plans and even the guitar itself being sent to Gibson as too hard to believe for these reasons:

    1. I'd be real surprised if Gibson itself didn't already know pretty much how J. D/A was building instruments, and didn't need drawings to copy. I'd also be willing to bet they'd already seen more than one D/A up close and personal.
    2. The real elephant in the room had to be Gibson Corporate Legal Department. They'd never want it known they built anything from someone else's drawings. And if they were like other companies I personally knew - -they didn't want to even see anyone's drawings, so they'd ever have to lie under oath that their discoveries weren't their own.

    You would always see customers send sketches, drawings and prints for approvals, with no problems. But the Gibson lawyers at that time were already fighting their own battles - -Ibanez etc - and sure weren't going to open themselves up for an infringement / copyright battle.

    And if Gibson's lawyers were like most corporate lawyers, what they said was ' how it was '.

    Just MHO. Hope there's something definitive that shows up some day about this entire Collins D/A story.

  31. #80

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    Ouch! The truth is that John Collins did indeed lend his spare 1930s D'Angelico guitar to Johnny Smith in 1951, until the luthier had built a replacement for Johnny's own D'Angelico instrument which he had lost in tragic circumstances (more information in the book). John Collins was in no rush to have it returned. When Johnny commissioned John D'Angelico to build a replacement to his own (Johnny's) designs, he also asked the luthier to build one for John Collins. That was the kind of gesture of gratitude that you could expect from Johnny. John Collins had lent him a spare, old guitar and received a new and vastly superior one in return. Johnny paid outright for both of the guitars when they were finally completed in 1955. Johnny sold John Collins' 1930s D'Angelico sometime soon after, as it was surplus to requirements since both he and Collins now had new and far superior instruments. This was well before Gibson became involved with Johnny in 1960. He didn't send a D'Angelico guitar to Gibson. Ted McCarty (Gibson president) visited Johnny in Colorado and they worked over the latter's kitchen table on Johnny's design, dimensions and construction etc. (more information in the...). There were no D'Angelico plans involved at all.

    The quote attributed to John D'Angelico is also untrue. He and Johnny were good friends right up until D'Angelico's death in 1964. When Johnny felt uncomfortable about undertaking a guitar endorsement using his own design from information partially learned from the luthier, John D'Angelico reassured him that it was the right thing to do, as he could only build a limited amount of instruments himself and adding that he was doing the guitar world a favor. John D'Angelico had no problems with Johnny whatsoever.

    Honestly, if Johnny had screwed up, I would be straight and say so. I've never regarded, or sought to depict, him as anything other than human. But he genuinely was a man of great integrity. He didn't receive a cent in royalties for all those Roost records that he made (more information in...), and yet he always ensured that his musicians were paid what they were due. The suggestion that he betrayed John Collins or John D'Angelico contradicts all the evidence as well as the well-known character of the man. All those who knew Johnny (for decades longer than I did) speak very affectionately of him, his kindness and his integrity (more information in...).

    Thanks for raising the story. Genuinely, thank you! When this kind of unpleasant gossip is bubbling around, it's good to get it out in the open and set the record straight once and for all. I really appreciate the opportunity to do that.

    Yikes! Three Johns and a Ted in this story!

  32. #81

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    Yes Lin, thank you so much for your time!

    Apparently, there were some bitter feelings towards Johnny, either on the part of Jimmy D'Aquisto, and/or the friend of Jimmy's who told me this story.
    That same person told me that Joe Pass did the same thing with a D'Aquisto and its plans, which Pass allegedly sent to Ibanez, and Ibanez copied for its JP Model.
    The Ibanez JP Model was taken off the market for some reason after only a few years, and Joe and Jimmy weren't on speaking terms for many years, until they decided to bury the hatchet some years later.

    It's a shame we never got to hear Johnny play a D'Aquisto.

  33. #82

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    Gentlemen, the pleasure is all mine. To paraphrase Elwood Blues, I'm 'on a mission from God' in my quest to spread the word and the truth about Johnny. I'm sincerely grateful for anybody's interest.

    To bring us momentarily back to classical music, which is where this thread started, there's an old adage among the classical brethren that the first requirement in being revered as a great composer is that you have to be dead. That doesn't seem to apply to the jazz guitar community, or any other guitar community. On the one hand, there are overly positive stories about guitar players' musicianship which have been exaggerated far beyond the reality. Then, there are (probably more) negative stories about players' personalities which so many times have little foundation in the truth. There is undoubtedly a sense of camaraderie within the higher echelons of jazz guitar, but among the 'lower ranks'(?) there is often an unpleasant undercurrent of envy, which is possibly where some of the wildly negative stories about so many musicians originate. That's a real shame. I suspect there's a degree of misinterpretation as well, though, in that the problem with written interviews is that the tone of what is being said is often left to the imagination of the reader. If the interviewer does not note that his subject was laughing when recounting a story about a friend, the reader can be forgiven for interpreting his words in a less than jocular manner. A case in point - I read an interview with John Collins in which the aforementioned subject of the D'Angelico guitar was discussed. From the written page, it was open to subjective interpretation whether he felt aggrieved or was being tongue-in-cheek about the episode. Fortunately, I was able to ascertain the truth and thereby (I hope) do everybody justice.

    There are too many fairly unpleasant and unfounded stories concerning so many jazz guitarists over the years. Nobody is perfect and some of the tales are undoubtedly true, but I can't help but reflect if the jazz guitar community could be a friendlier place to be than it is, sometimes. I'm extremely grateful that yourselves are all so kind in raising any dubious stories pertaining to Johnny, so that I can explain, dispel or confirm them once and for all. That opportunity is very much appreciated. Thank you.

    Oh, hell! I started this with “I'm on a mission from God” and went on to sound like Father Flanagan delivering a sermon. Thank you for listening, my children.

  34. #83

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    Smith does inspire an almost religious fervor among his devotees, and some made the pilgrimage to Colorado to seek the truth from the Master.

    Almost all found the Johnny Smith you describe above, but one guy reported meeting a broken, almost deranged man!

    Many may harbor resentment against Johnny for his instructions in the "Aids To Technique" book recommending "that the thumb, forefinger and wrist of the right hand be held slightly rigid, requiring cross motion for picking to originate at the elbow. This will also obtain the only sure way of picking freely back and forth across the strings with alternate picking".

    Although Johnny cleared this up in the video made by one of his students, many players (including me) were told to do this by their teachers, and encountered problems eventually.
    Today, I pick with my wrist in most situations, but revert to the elbow when I have to play at tempos exceeding 300bpm.

    I also read that John Collins (an underrated player) interview, and didn't know how to take it.
    Jimmy Wyble was the West Coast guitarist who gave the Collins incident a negative spin, so I assume he passed it on to the other players out there.

  35. #84

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    Oh, pick any famous guitar player's name (in any musical genre) out of a hat and you'll find they have devotees with an almost religious fervor. That says more about society than it does about the players, I'm sure. Johnny, a deranged man? Haha, that's just plain daft.

    As for who may have said what to whom and about whom… I'm not going to comment unfavorably about someone, not least of all when I don't have all the facts. I would much prefer to think of people in a more positive light. That's my small (if perhaps futile) contribution towards making the jazz guitar community a friendlier place.

  36. #85

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  37. #86

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    can't have a js thread without some js music...classic with getz...

    get the book and moonlight in vermont cd! haha


  38. #87

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    Thanks guys. Where you buy the book from doesn't affect me, but thanks for your consideration. As for getting caught up in the decision to buy Johnny's biography or an engagement ring... Yikes! Most of the wives of the lads to whom I've taught the guitar over the years already see me as the High Priest of a Dark Art, which gives their husbands something to enjoy in life and which doesn't involve them. So, I'm already living on borrowed time and I'm not going to risk shortening it even further by offering any advice. Way too dangerous! :-)

  39. #88

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    Hey Lin,

    Received my copy of you book from Amazon last Friday and 'devoured' it over the weekend. Congratulations on your effort and the accomplishment of this much needed resource. I actually moved up to Colorado Springs in the Spring of 1967 and was able to study with Johnny for several months. I also attended that first seminar he had in 1969 and was sitting in the Holiday Inn bar watching the tv with Howard Roberts when Aldrin took his first step on the moon. An unforgetable moment but then so was the whole week.

    Please keep us posted when your additional chapters on his playing will be available.

    all the best,

    Sean Hunt
    Sun City West, Az.

  40. #89

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    Hello Lin

    My thoughts echo Sean's above - I am devouring the book, and enjoying every minute of it. The book is a sincere and worthy tribute to The Master. I don't know how any biography could be more definitive of its' subject !

    I'm also grateful you've contributed to this Forum, and am glad that myself and others can personally tell you how much we applaud and appreciate your efforts in telling Johnny Smith's story.

    Congratulations on a job incredibly well done and may it be the success it so obviously deserves.


    Dennis Dunn
    Last edited by Dennis D; 10-26-2015 at 04:58 PM.

  41. #90

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    Thanks Dennis. You're very kind. It was an honor to work with Johnny and his family over the final two years of his life, and it is no less humbling to receive such kind sentiments and appreciation from good people such as yourself. In a world where so many people are in such a rush to share their negative opinions on everything, it's a relief to know that I did alright. Thanks again.

    Take care,

  42. #91

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    ok, most of us have seen this video, it's one of only a few clips known.
    here he's not quite as nimble as he was back in the day [I think he was retired nearly 25 yrs when this was shot] but still incredible.
    look @ that flawless picking and fingering technique, no wonder he sounds so perfect, but never 'boring-perfect' like some guys.
    he changes from a pensive mood then sounds so joyous @ 3:40 when he's soloing over the bridge, then back to pensive for the out. amazing.

    Last edited by wintermoon; 01-07-2016 at 01:26 AM.

  43. #92

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    Sorry to get nuts and bolts in this section of the forum, but notice that JS is playing his marvelous D'Angelico guitar through a Wes Montgomery-approved Fender Super Reverb Amp. I have always thought that amp to be a great complement for archtop guitars, even if it was probably venue-provided in this instance. (JS preferred his EMRAD amp, but didn't travel with it in later years--it stayed in his garage.)

  44. #93

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    Which humbucker is on his DA?

  45. #94

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    Johnny Smith floater

  46. #95

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    This is an excellent video to observe Smith's right hand. Despite his recommendation in his various books to play everything with alternate picking, one can see that he employs a variety of picking in this tune including directional/economy picking and repeated downstrokes on the same string.

    In short, JS was using a similar type of right hand technique to that of earlier players such as Christian, Barnes and Reinhardt.

  47. #96

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    yeah Monk, also interesting to note how close he plays to the bridge a lot of the time, though he does play over the fingerboard extension as well.

  48. #97

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    Like Django, Benson, Pass, Coryell (and many others), Smith had a powerful right hand that floated. His articulation and time feel show us all how it can and should be done.

    Johnny Smith was truly one of the all time masters of the jazz guitar.

  49. #98

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    Unfortunately, he f-cks up the melody on the last bars of the first eight, and winds up a measure off when they come back for the second eight.

  50. #99

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    Johnny does just fine, it's the rhythm section that messes up - they play the changes to the 2nd A by mistake during the 1st A.

  51. #100

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    yeah, well he misses a double stop @ 3:15 and there are other mistakes.
    he's Johnny Smith, but he's human and by this time wasn't playing nearly as much as in the past so he's a little older/rusty.
    still a great performance imo.