Johnny Smith (1922-2013)

Just heard the sad news of the passing of a true legend of jazz guitar. Johnny’s music meant a lot to me personally as a friend Ed Kettlewell years ago turned me onto him and immediately I was amazed (like every guitarist hearing it for the first time!) at the deftly crafted chord concepts he was playing, I’d not heard anyone do that at that time. It turned out that that whole album “Moonlight in Vermont” was amazing and it still has a special place in my life. I can’t play every note of that album but I know every note!

I was so inspired by Johnny’s original tune “Wally’s Waltz” that I learned it and performed it on a YT vid:

I couldn’t get close to his version of course, the man was something else.

Years ago I was sent a cassette tape of a rare live gig he played in 1981, I uploaded the tape to YT for all to enjoy so sit back and enjoy, Johnny we salute you!

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  1. #1 by Alan Joseph on June 13, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    Dan
    I am very curious as to how you heard of Johnny Smith’s passing
    I will take a stab and say it may have something to do with Lin Flanagan (Johnny’s Biographer) who I met a few weeks ago
    anyway, I just stumbled upon your blog moments ago through research
    Please email me back

    Alan Joseph
    Jazz Guitar
    University of Denver
    University of Colorado

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