Jazz Guitar Beauty – 1940’s Gibson L5 – Mathieu Soucy

Mathieu Soucy is a teaching and performing Montreal Jazz Guitarist who has recently released a new album titled Recollecting (JGL review to come)! The beautiful tones on that album come courtesy of Mathieu’s 1940’s Gibson L5 which he kindly shares with us as part of JGL’s Jazz Guitar Beauty series. Enjoy the beauty and please check out Mathieu’s latest release…he is definitely a talent deserving wider recognition!

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The guitar was shipped in 1945 yet, according to the rather low factory order number, its production may have started around 1941. The guitar was sent back to Kalamazoo sometime in the 70’s to be refretted and to be refinished with a period correct colour pallet. When I got the guitar 2 years ago, there were only 3 things that were non original: the pickguard, the tuning buttons and the frets. It is pretty cool, though, that all the modifications up to this point had been performed by Gibson, in Kalamazoo. The guitar is thus Gibson-original in this respect. I am the second owner of the guitar, as it belonged to the Syracuse (NY)-based professional classical and jazz guitarist Carl Mano.

A few weeks ago, I brought the guitar to my luthier, Jarom Osorio, to install a DeArmond FHC pickup, along with a 50’s wiring system attached to a new pickguard (reproduction). None of the guitar’s acoustic richness in tone is lost. I love the dryness and woodiness of its tone. It has a great attack. With the addition of the FHC, the guitar now sounds full, and has a pretty fat tone, when plugged in. Very cool bop guitar. 

I love the beautiful bubble maple back and the dark sunburst on the top. The tuners are still working well after almost 80 years. I had it mounted with a vintage DeArmond Rhythm Chief 1000 which is featured on my album “Recollecting” that’s just been released. It was mic’ed both acoustically and electrically.

Please consider spreading the word about Mathieu and Jazz Guitar Life by sharing this interview amongst your social media pals and please feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you 🙂

If you would like to support all the work I do on Jazz Guitar Life, please consider buying me a coffee or visiting the Jazz Guitar Life sponsors. Thank you and your patronage is greatly appreciated regardless if you buy me a coffee or not 🙂

About Lyle Robinson 350 Articles
Lyle Robinson is the owner/creator/publisher and editor of Jazz Guitar Life, an online magazine dedicated to the Jazz Guitar and its community of fine players worldwide.

2 Comments

  1. I studied with Carl Mano at SUNY at Oswego in the early 70’s. I started studying George Van Eps with him, and I am still studying George Van Eps Harmonic Mechanisms for Guitar.

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