Jazz players...

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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macdog
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Jazz players...

Post by macdog » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:51 pm

I was idly flicking through Richard Smith’s Fender book when I happened upon that well known story of how jazz players rejected the Jazzmaster, and how this reflects badly on the guitar, indicating its shortcomings. I’m actually a bit tired of this hoary old tale. How about the opposite perspective: hidebound and insular, jazz players failed to appreciate the new guitar’s qualities and the opportunities it presented for an enhanced tonal palette. More open-minded and experimental surf, garage, and later, punk and indie players, knew a good thing when they saw it.

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Larsongs
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Re: Jazz players...

Post by Larsongs » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:15 am

I've always been surprised by the negative Reviews by Jazz Players?? IMO it's an excellent Jazz Guitar. Sound wise for sure. But, ergonomically as well.. Far more comfortable than the Big Box Electric Jazz Guitars.. Which looked very Classic style wise.

Whereas the Jazzmaster looked modern & Hip.. More Jazzy!

It could get the warm Jazz Tones with no problem.. It could also explore uncharted Sound waters. Which, you would think, Jazz Players would have embraced...

I came to the conclusion it was mostly an Image thing.... If you're wearing a Suit or Tux the Big Box Guitars had an established classy Look....

Other than that I never got it....

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by scottT » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:53 am

I agree with the above. Possibly because being more traditional minded, Jazz players coming from the 40s and 50s and earlier were loathe to embrace something that wasn't some kind of hollow or semi hollow jazz box. I don't know what most jazz guitarists would want with a tremolo, but I think the offset style was designed with sitting comfort in mind, which was the way most of those players performed. It's interesting that when solid bodies did make inroads into jazz, that it was the Telecaster that was the guitar of choice. I can think of half dozen of them right off the top of my head.

From the Country artists, and guys like Neil Levang and a Western Swing guitarist I know of who played standards in a chordal style on his Jazzmaster that it can be as good as anything out there.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by boytbpc » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:23 am

I play jazz. I have a big box hollowbody (Gibson ES-350T) and a Henricksen Jazz Amp. Next week I’ll have a Jazzmaster. I definitely plan on playing jazz on my Jazzmaster.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by leokula » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:36 am

macdog wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:51 pm
I was idly flicking through Richard Smith’s Fender book when I happened upon that well known story of how jazz players rejected the Jazzmaster, and how this reflects badly on the guitar, indicating its shortcomings. I’m actually a bit tired of this hoary old tale. How about the opposite perspective: hidebound and insular, jazz players failed to appreciate the new guitar’s qualities and the opportunities it presented for an enhanced tonal palette. More open-minded and experimental surf, garage, and later, punk and indie players, knew a good thing when they saw it.
I don't think it's a well thought out hypothesis. As if punk or garage or indie players even knew what they were doing picking up the jazzmaster lol they were just cheap and different, that's all. As for surf, oh well, I guess they just liked the sound, but then again, it wasn't being played over a strat most of the time. Now it's simply an aesthetic choice rather than sonic. It's not like punk or garage or surf or indie bands have some magic eye for what's "good" or not.

Jazz players didn't fail to do anything... they played what they wanted, and they didn't want the Jazzmaster. Tough bananas.
Jaguar > Jazzmaster :)

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:41 pm

In fairness, jazz guitarists were at the forefront of technological revolution in guitar. They evolved their playing styles alongside the invention of guitar amplification. Those big hollow bodies were what they played because that was the only way to be heard before the days of pickups. It was a familiar feel, even after they started adding pickups.

And, more importantly, by the time the Jazzmaster rolled around, they already had humbuckers. Things like the Charlie Christian blade pickup were popular when they first came out, but a lot of jazz guitarists jumped onboard the second the PAF came out. It got loud, and it didn't hum.

Coming out with a new, different-looking and feeling guitar that hummed like the "outdated" jazz guitars of 10 years prior wasn't something that convinced the majority of Jazzplayers to abandon their familiar archtops with single coils, or their newfangled humbuckig guitars.

And, speaking from a guitar innovation standpoint, they backed the right horse. They chose something with superior technical design (an instrument that doesn't hum loudly during quiet passages).

I love the Jazzmaster to death, but the hum of single coils were not cutting edge at the time, so I'm not shocked that the Jazz community didn't flock to it.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by mackerelmint » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:54 pm

^^^

A pretty good point.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by 601210 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:53 am

A fairly large percentage of our indie-rock and garage heroes played Jazzmasters mostly because their heroes played one, and their heroes tended to play one mainly cause they couldn't afford a strat.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by timiscott » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:05 am

Yup - the indie thing started with Tom Verlaine, then Roland Howard and Sonic Youth. It then went on to Kevin Shields, Robin Guthrie, Kurt Ralske, Swervedriver, Curve etc. From there, it goes to Wolf Alice etc. Also, when Julian Cope was in the charts as a solo artist, his guitarist used some nice JMs too.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by Squareball » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:09 am

601210 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:53 am
A fairly large percentage of our indie-rock and garage heroes played Jazzmasters mostly because their heroes played one, and their heroes tended to play one mainly cause they couldn't afford a strat.
Agreed.
Sonic youth and Elvis Costello both admit that they bought a Jazzmaster because it was cheap at the time. - Thurston Moore wanting to replace his stolen Stratocaster and Elvis replacing his badly set up Telecaster. Also regarding surf music, a lot of the emerging surf bands were given Jazzmasters and Jaguars by Fender to showcase their new models. So maybe not neccesserely being innovative but just living in the same city where the guitars were being produced.
It's hard to be a saint in the city

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by gusgorman » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:47 am

Were Les Pauls adopted by Jazz players at all? People often forget they were designed as a Jazz guitar as well.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by DrQuasar » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:54 am

When this topic comes up, someone has to share the video of Joe Pass playing a Jaguar. Of course, it doesn't sound anything like what we think of as the quintessential Jaguar tone these days.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by daysleeperjeff » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:03 pm

Who cares about the past, it was a success way beyond Jazz and it’s bigger now than ever. Most players play guitars they find aesthetically pleasing and that’s what drives the decision. To a reasonable degree you can make almost any guitar sound how you want with pedals, EQ and your amp. You can dial in a sound or modify but the look and feel of a guitar is most likely what’s going to win over.

Strats, Teles & LP’s all sound great to me but I don’t dig the style or feel anywhere near as much as a JM so I don’t own any of those and never will. And I don’t need to. I can get any sound I’ve ever wanted from my 2 JM’s.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by The Dead Ranch Hands » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:39 pm

Nels Cline doin a jazz on his Jazzmaster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxBKupg ... ex=11&t=0s

I think it's mostly image too. Jazzmasters (as well as Jaguar) have some great jazz tones, but they are also much more versatile than a typical jazz archtop.

Speaking of Jags, here's Jazz on a Jag (not Joe Pass!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61fh-VT ... Cg&index=3&

As someone mentioned before, the Tele has become a popular Jazz instrument, and no way it's more suited for Jazz than the JM. Jazz guys are very traditional, though. Outside of the fusion players it's very conservative with no flash and usually no effects either.

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Re: Jazz players...

Post by giantsteps » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:55 pm

The rhythm circuit is IT.

I have to play some George Benson (yes, Breezin') plus some Mangione charts for an upcoming show and rhythm circuit plus compressor is gorgeous.

Chris

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