Tom Painter interview

Tom Painter is a fantastic luthier who has built us a few archtops, you can read more here

1/What/who were your initial influences?
Barney Kessel was my first influence in jazz guitar. He just had so much enthusiasm and a bluesy style that was really accessible to me at the time (my late teens). Later, I discovered the other masters Pass, Farlow, Benson, Martino, Breau, etc. I was also really interested in Bossa Nova, the Bossa guitar was and still is just fascinating to me.

2/Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I don’t gig right now.  I played through college, in the school jazz program and with my own group.

3/What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
My “desert island” guitar would have to be one of mine or a really fine classical guitar.

4/Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
I saw Jimmy Bruno when I was 18 or so in Philly. His level of musicianship blew me away…almost incomprehensible. He was such a nice guy too….let me play his Benedetto! I felt the same way when I met Pat Martino.

5/Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
With YouTube, we see there are so many people around the world playing at such a high level it’s just mind-boggling….and very humbling.  I’m a little old-fashioned in my taste, for me, Jimmy Raney is the Leibniz of bebop guitar.  The beautiful logic!

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