Mentorship and oral tradition are essential parts of jazz’s lasting vitality.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Jazz Is Dead at the Newport Jazz Festival. Led by bassist Ali Shaheed Muhammed (A Tribe Called Quest) and composer/producer Adrian Younge, the band was formed to draw inspiration from such greats as Gary Bartz, Henry Franklin, Doug Carn, Roy Ayers, Jean Carne, Lonnie Liston Smith, and others in creating new compositions and fresh arrangements of their work. The irony behind the name and ethos of this band, though, is that jazz is certainly not dead!

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Solid gold: The Midas touch helped this SG Special recover from a botched and abandoned refinish job. And it’s got a brighter-than-usual-Gibson-humbucker sound that appeals to our columnist’s P-90-loving ears.

This scarred 2001 keeper is low on ROI but high on playability and tone.

I'm primarily a Tele player, but I have to profess my love for non-Fender-type guitars as well. I've owned probably a dozen or so Gibson SGs, for example, including some first-year models. Sadly, I let them all slip through my fingers over the years.

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