Rotosound Top Tape Flatwounds

As previous posts have shown I personally prefer the Newtone Archtop for the sound I’m after (which usually isn’t a traditional jazz sound) but I have long wondered about the Rotosound Top Tapes (only available in 12’s) as a viable alternative to D’Addario on the shops guitars. They are different tonally to me as they sound ‘bedded’ in (not unlike well used Chromes) right from the off which to be honest in my (daily!) experience of jazz guitar players is what a vast majority tonally are after.  So far so good, even as a ‘take it or leave it’ flatwound appreciator I will persevere with them and I think they sound good on laminate archtops. We’ve got a few new videos which should be on Youtube fairly soon, I will post up the links when they’re available.


As an aside, I was absolutely amazed to see hanging on the wall printed on the D’Addario packaging…… can you spot the spelling mistake……? Can’t believe they designed this and no-one saw….!


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Syberen van Munster

It’s really great when as a consequence of this blog people contact me and I come across new, interesting and lesser known players. I had correspondence from Syberen van Munster and I love his interpretation of “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face”. Enjoy!


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Upcoming UK Events

On the 29th March there is a rare chance to learn with the amazing Sid Jacobs as he is giving a master class in London. Details below:



If you are a fan of the music of Bill Evans and you’re interested in the Jimmy Wyble style of arranging then this is a must. 

Also in Wrexham there is the amazing Howard Alden coming across to teach at the Jazz Guitar Weekend arranged by Trefor Owen. This is really a must for any aspiring jazz guitarist to get up close and really see how a professional approaches the art form. It’s great to hang out with lots of like minded people and there are some great opportunities to jam and share knowledge. 
Information is on this webpage


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Underrated Jazz Guitarists #1 William Ash

In no particular order, just as they come to me I will post up guitarists I think deserve further recognition 🙂

I’ve listened to the criminally underrated William Ash for a few years now and his albums are some of my favourite to listen to on my iPod on my walk to work. I can’t remember how I came across them but if you think you’ll like a Wes vibe but on steroids then you’ll love this stuff. He seems to be able to play with his thumb like Wes but also with a pick where necessary.  Oh and also he is the most ridiculous block chord soloist you’ve probably ever heard, check out the track ‘Joanne’ (or any others really) from ‘Moonlight and Stars on iTunes.

Recommended Listening

“Moonlight and Stars”, “The Phoenix” and “The Long Road” all great albums for fans of jazz guitar.

I couldn’t find a website to link to and there’s not much on Youtube so go to iTunes to get hold of his stuff.


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Paco de Lucia (1947–2014)

Although himself not a jazz guitarist, I feel his passing deserves recognition as his music had such passion, soul and other worldly skill to it. I first came into contact with his music through a woodwind repairer at our shop who gave me a tape of “Friday Night in San Francisco” years ago and it flipped my head as I’d never heard guitar playing like it! Subsequently  in 1996 I went out to buy “Antologia” which at the time was only available on import (£30 and I was skint!) but it proved to be an outstandingly good purchase as it still gets listened to on a regular basis. At that time I didn’t really understand how his career had moved flamenco forward into world music and into the ears and hearts of people around the world but now understanding a bit more about that really brings the music a whole new edge.

My favourite Paco tracks are ‘Zyrab’, the truly incredible ‘Guijaras de Lucia’, Rio Ancho, ‘Monasterio de Sal’, and his contributions to the 3 Guitar Trio albums.

I’ll leave you with a track from John McLaughlin’s mid 90’s album which saw a reprise of the guitar trio for the track that John wrote with Paco in mind ‘El Ciego’



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RIP Jim Hall 1930-2013

One of the greats has passed, there were a number of albums I loved but in particular I enjoyed his tunes with Bill Evans.

Thanks Jim.

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Two Week Guitar Special in Oxford

Just doing this really quickly as I’m about to rush down to London to see Remember Shakti as part of the London Jazz Festival week.  I’ve been lucky enough to see them twice before and I can’t wait to see them again…!

Anyway I’m just doing a quick post as Adam Taylor contacted me regarding a couple of special events he is running in Oxford, I’ll let him explain.

I have a two week guitar extravaganza coming up and thought it would be something you and your followers would be interested in. I have two great guitarists coming and would love to make the nights as successful as possible. Next week (Mon 25th Nov) I have Dan Messore playing at the club, with myself and a great rhythm section. Then the week after (Mon 2nd Dec) Pete Oxley and the spin trio plus me will be performing.

Here are the fb links with the info and website links:

Mon 25th Nov Dan Messore:

Mon 2nd Dec Pete Oxley:

And here are the links for the club:

And here is my website:

If you are in the area please do support!

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