For any jazz guitarist, a Gibson ‘Johnny Smith’ is always a thrill to play and this fine twin pickup example from 1964 is no exception. The craftsmanship is simply wonderful to behold and with a tone that evokes many a landmark jazz recording.
The ever-humble guitarist Smith once said of himself that he wasn’t really a jazz guitarist, but nothing could be further from the truth as he helped redefine the ‘cool’ school of jazz through his sheer virtuosity on the instrument, combining an almost classical approach to chord-melody playing and his second to none articulation of single line phrases.
Johnny Smith has a very important place in guitar history from his legendary small group recording of ‘Moonlight In Vermont’ with Stan Getz in 1952 to his composition ‘Walk Don’t Run’ which later became a pop hit for The Ventures.
Arguably the finest instrument to bear his name, (Smith also played a signature Guild and a D’Angelico) the Gibson Johnny Smith is highly sought after and is a worthy match for its namesake, with a number of unique construction features such as the 25 inch scale length and pickguard mounted electronics designed to maintain the integrity of the guitar’s natural resonance, which indeed it does.
For Smith’s signature guitars Gibson used the small ‘original’ humbucking pickup fitted with Alnico V which gives more power and cleaner tones, floating as they do above the hand-carved spruce top. The double pickup version JS-D was available from 1963 and very quickly became the most desired variant of this desirable model.
This very fine 1964 double pickup instrument (pictured here) is new in stock here at JGG and is a real beauty. A legendary instrument from an equally legendary player.