September’s track is David Widelock’s recording of his arrangement of “Work” by the quirky jazz genius Thelonious Sphere Monk ( “Wrong is right”), the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington. It opens his 2007 solo guitar collection “Memories of a Surprise”. I had worked on David’s guitars for years before the stars aligned for him to come in and request I make him a classical guitar with a cutaway. I sent him home with three of my standard classical instruments to confirm that he was sufficiently charmed by my current work. He returned a few days later, saying that while he really liked them all and would surely be happy with a new guitar I would make him, he already was smitten with #58, and would like me to retroactively convert it to a cutaway guitar. This is about as tedious, exacting, and time consuming as it sounds, but all turned out well, especially for the guitar, which if anything sounded a bit more focused (we had before and after recorded examples by the same engineer). David strings it with classical basses and low tension Thomastik-Infeld steel strings specifically formulated for classical guitars, affording a little extra bite to the instrument’s warmth. His abiding love and understanding of Monk’s music is clear.
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