Archive for September, 2008

Archtops on Facebook

September 20, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Facebook and archtop don’t seem to mix well: One is for the adolescents, the other for grown-ups. Oh well, the average facebook account holder is steadily increasing (probably approaching 25 at the moment, which means there are lots of grown-ups joining the FB community).

Perhaps for this reason there are now at least two groups dedicated to archtops, Friends of the Archtop Guitar and The Acoustic Archtop Guitar: A Fansite. There are few members in each group (15 and 18, resp.), so if you have a FB account, pls join them.

Note that there also numerous jazz guitar groups, dedicated to, for example, Wes Montgomery, Lenny Breau, and Joe Pass.


Ebay Bargains

September 17, 2008

Nicolai Foss

With the dollar so low and the recession most likely reducing prices, this is the time for non-Americans to buy. I am amazed at the value that is on offer at ebay at the moment. Here is a very nice Gretsch Electromatic at a buy it now price of 675 USD; here is a D’Angelico Excel offered at 1,295 USD; the very pretty Eastman El Rey at about the same price; and so on. Go look for yourself; it is archtop bonanza time at ebay.

More YouTube Tal

September 15, 2008

Nicolai Foss

I sometimes feel that this blog is degenerating into a commentary on various YouTube clips; the truth, however, is that YouTube has become such an amazing bonanza of jazz guitar clips. Here and here are clips with Tal, playing with none other than Red Norvo, his employer in the around-1950-trio which also included Charlie Mingus. Steve Novosel is on bass. I guess the clips are from around 1980. Tal sounds remarkably like he did three decades earlier.

Is the Recession Hitting the Archtop Market?

September 14, 2008

Nicolai Foss

Of course, the ongoing recession will eventually hit the market for archtop guitars like it will hit any market in the world economy. Perhaps we are already witnessing the first indications of a recession in the archtop market(s)? Here are some possible indicators. First, sellers of DeArmond pickups do not quote their usual insane buy-it-now prices. In fact, there is an 1100 model which, although there are only 3 days left of the auction, has so far only fetched 51 USD. Second, has had this Epi Emperor for sale for more than a month now. Third, there are simply more archtops for sale (on ebay about 25 % more than just 2-3 months ago), which may suggest that collectors are liquidating some of their archtop “positions.” Other indications?

The Gibson Tal Farlow

September 14, 2008

Nicolai Foss

“Jazzerman” provides a nice portrait of his favorite archtop, the Gibson Tal Farlow, with Tal boppin’ in the background.