Archive for January, 2008

Blogging Pause

January 18, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Because of a heavy workload, I will not be blogging on Jazz&Archtops for about a month. See you again mid February.

D’Angelico (Copy) Bargain

January 10, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Here is a great offer: The D’Angelico EXL-1SH at a Buy It Now price of 1,049 USD. While these guitars may not be quite as good as the Aria D’Aquisto copies, they are very nice players indeed and the posted price is remarkably low. The auction ends Jan 10 17:29 PST, so you got to hurry.

“Let’s try some ‘Nica’s Dream'”

January 8, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Here is an amazing clip with Wes Montgomery playing Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream” with some young Dutch musicians during his 1965 Euro tour. The first time I have heard Wes talking.

Finally …. Some Jimmy Raney Clips on Youtube!

January 7, 2008

Nicolai Foss

As if underscoring the exclusivity of Raney’s playing, he has been absent from YouTube until very recently. Here are “Just Friends” and “These Foolish Things,” both played in the company of Cal Collins, a very fine player but not of Raney’s greatness. The real highlight is, however, a wonderful duo with Attila Zoller, clearly a very kindred spirit. The first two clips are from 1987, and I suspect the clip with Zoller is more recent.

Ibanez Lawsuit Archtops

January 5, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Ibanez’ mid- to end of the 1970s copies of mainly Gibson archtops have an excellent reputation. This is reflected in the amount of praise that the seller, Archtop.com, of this Ibanez FA-510 is able to mobilize, advertising it as an “Ibanez L5CN,” indeed, “the most faithful L-5 clone anyone’s going to build, as long as Gibson has lawyers.”

Oh well. I bought my FA-510 in 1984 as new at (then) appr. 1,200 USD. I regretted the purchase, but was only able to sell it it about three years ago (at the same price that I paid twenty years earlier :-(). Acoustically, this was the most dead archtop I have ever played. Only slightly better than a solidbody guitar. Part of the explanation was that the tonewood — at least on the specimen I owned — was extremely thick and the guitar was therefore very heavy and non-responsive. But it was pretty (though nothing unusual on today’s standards), and plugged into an amp it certainly sounded allright.

However, the experience gave me a distinct distate for Ibanez lawsuit archtops, and my distrust in them has largely been confirmed by the other specimens I have occasion to try out. IMHO Ibanez only really got its archtop act together with the GB-10 and, particularly, the lovely GB-20. And the Joe Pass model was excellent value, but that is a different story.