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Talking Jazz Guitar With Peter Bernstein and Jimmy Bruno

By Published: July 9, 2013
JB: Both. That's a tough question. I would say the maker has a—an equal say, in the end it comes down to—let me tell you something, you can play a Sears and Roebuck guitar and after three notes I know it's Peter Bernstein.

SK: How good is Lou Pallo?

JB: He is as good a guitarist as anybody, as anyone is, fantastic guitarist, he is very easy to play with, he knows all the right chords, he has the right feel.

SK: Great texture, he has the soft pick.

JB: I don't know what pick he's using. I wish I could get that good, Lou is fantastic.

SK: Why do the dynamics on a ballad sound better when the rhythm section leaves the bandstand?

PB: With the trio up there and us, that is just a lot more sound up there; there is a lot piano, Lou is playing rhythm guitar and bass, so it is thicker sound, when we play duo it is spare.

JB: You've got to switch gears in your head, rather quickly.

SK: Peter, would you talk about the difference between playing with an organ trio and playing duet guitar with the Les Paul trio and Jimmy Bruno?

PB: It is totally different, playing with an organ trio is different depending on who is playing the organ, who is playing the drums, in the organ context, things are usually much louder, and there is different energy because of the electricity of the organ. Playing duo with Jimmy is quieter more intimate, you have to kind of be the whole rhythm section when you play with him, when he is taking a solo, with an organ you just comp and find your spot.

JB: You have to be able to adapt to your surroundings.

(As the recording cuts out Jimmy tells me to "write good shit.")

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