Category Archives: Jazz

The Casimi C5S baritone is here!

The Casimi C5S baritone guitar is finally here. Ordered in Mach 2021, and finally finished now, in mid September 2023. Matthew Rice and Matthias Roux are Casimi Guitars, based in Muizenberg, outside Cape Town. They are in high demand and only make a handful of instruments per year, hence the long waiting list. This is a multiscale instrument, also called “fan-fret”, with the 6th string at 28” and the 1st at 27”. To be noted is the tilted bridge, and the perpendicular fret at the fifth position. It features a sound port on the top side as well as subtle arm and chest bevels.

As for woods, the top is made of Moonspruce, a master grade  spruce that is harvested at a particular moon phase. The back and sides are African Blackwood, a hard tone wood similar to Brazilian Rosewood. Bindings are made of beautiful koa. The neck is mahogany and fretboard is ebony with golden Evo frets like our Buendia 12-string. The nut and saddle are Black Tusq. Read more...

New guitar build commission: the Casimi C5C Baritone

I had been intrigued about baritone guitars  for many years. Like most of us guitarists, I greatly admired the beautiful record that Pat Metheny had done on solo baritone acoustic guitar “One Quiet Night”, where he employed only one instrument, made to him by Linda Manzer. I got exposed to more baritones through the Chords of Orion YouTube channel and recordings, as well as Dream Guitars. DG’s owner and guitar guru Paul Heumiller is a great fan of baritones and also a strong supporter of the multiscale or fanned-fret approach to baritone guitars. Sometime in March 2021, I watched Paul Heumiller presenting a new baritone instrument built by Matthew Rice and Matthias Roux from Casimi Guitars, located right outside Cape Town,  Western Cape, South Africa. This was their C5C model with African Blackwood back and sides and a moonspruce top. The guitar shape, the many unique design features and the gorgeous woods were simply stunning. I began doing some enquiries. It turned out that Heumiller had decided to keep that instrument for himself. Read more...

Latest member in the acoustic family: 12-string Jumbo by Leo Buendia

After a 3 year wait, we have finally received our 12-string Jumbo acoustic guitar, a custom order we made in 2018 from luthier Leo Buendia, aided by the help, wisdom and guidance of Paul Heumiller, from Dream Guitars.

Inspired by the Guilds played by Ralph Towner, this instrument has Adirondack spruce top, old growth Brazilian rosewood back, sides and headplate, ebony bridge and fingerboard,  and mahogany neck. It is 2-inch width at nut, and sports Gotoh tuners, golden Jester EVO frets and James May’s ultratonic pickup.

The instrument carries a number of stunning custom appointments, including an interrupted rosette made in ebony and red stained burl, a Buendia trademark. Red stained burl appointments also appear in the backstrip, back of neck and head plate, the latter shaped after Leo’s native country, Argentina. Read more...

Pedalboard update v4

Guitar pedalboard v4 sees the replacement of one of the first pedals I have had acquired, the JAM multi pedal (overdrive, chorus and delay). The analog nature of this pedal was a limitation in a board that is now mostly digital. The SUNSET overdrive from Strymon is in fact two pedals in one, and a hybrid of analog and digital, including MIDI control, i.e. the best of both worlds. It’s a more than worthy replacement of the TubeScreamer featured in the old JAM multi pedal.

SYNESTHESIA is to the WaterFall JAM chorus what SUNSET is to its TubeScreamer.  Also a double pedal with different configurations available: cascade, parallel and L/R stereo split. It does chorus, flanger, phaser, univibe and so much more. Luckily, also MIDI capable. Analog delay DelayLlama from the JAM multipedal, will be missed. But it was not being used very much, as it began running into overhead issues (input saturated fairly quickly). It was last heard on “When God Created Peer Review”the third track of my “Chiral Centers” disk, making the spacey sounds that begin the track and provide the background throughout the piece. Read more...

Chromatographies vol. 3 “Chiral Centers” live in Bandcamp

“Chiral Centers”, the third volume of the Chromatographies project, is now live in  Bandcamp for download or streaming. The download includes a digital booklet. There are also CDs available.

Chromatographies is the jazz and ambient guitar project of Carlos Ibanez. The recordings consist of solo guitar performances that alternate improvised guitar meditations with jazz guitar pieces. All sounds and effects are made in real-time using stomp boxes.

Chiral Centers follows the structure of the first two volumes, with  improvised compositions by Carlos Ibanez intermixed with renderings of pieces by Charlie Haden, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell and Ralph Towner. Read more...

Guitar pedalboard v3.0

Guitar pedal evolution. We were faced with the difficult decision to take off pedals from our pedalboard to make space for new ones. Too difficult. So we didn’t. Instead… we got a second board 😉

Temple Audio Duo 17 arrived to help us host 3 new pedals we have  had our sights on for quite some time. And so we reconfigured the whole signal chain. And the MIDI chain. Again. These three bad boys are the VENTRIS reverb, IRIDIUM amp modeler and HEDRA triple pitch shifter/delay.


Guitar synthesizer ENZO (yellow machine) was moved to the new (smaller) board to make space for the VENTRIS reverb from Source Audio (last row, second from right). We have wanted to have a second reverb to overlay on top of Strymon’s BIGSKY and the VENTRIS filled the bill perfectly. Two reverbs in one box, each with 14 different engines,  which can be run in parallel or series. In essence, we got 2 more reverbs, for awesome ambient soundscapes. The VENTRIS is placed downstream from the BIGSKY in the signal chain. Read more...

Early interview with ralph towner – guitar player, december 1975

A hard-to-find, early interview with composer and guitar virtuoso Ralph Towner, rescued from the original issue of Guitar Player magazine of December 1975.

I didn’t even know what a guitar was until I was 22… I went to a music store to buy a trumpet mute or music paper, something like that, and there was this salesman type there who sold me a classical guitar. I taught myself a little bit, and then wrote a composition for flute and guitar.

Read the original article HERE.