Gary Burton on John Gray - JazzWax

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October 12, 2010


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Ed Leimbacher

This is starting to sound like a joke by Lester Young... "Hey, Lady Marc, what do you call that any-mouse ofay cat, sometime on guitar, sometime totally Splitsville?" "You got me, Pres. What?" "Dig it... John Gray."

Lyle Robinson

Hi Marc and thanks for the heads up on John Gray. I really did not know much about him but surprisingly I have his only album as a leader, which I have yet to listen to...but I will be doing so after I post this comment...:) Thanks also for a wonderful blog. I have been a lurker on here for a while now and I thought it would be nice to say hello and thanks for all your hard work. Take care and all the best.


Billy Cook

I met John in the late 70's....mabe early 80's in Prior,Oklahoma...his home town ....while traveling with Bill Barker, a longtime friend of John's and a renowned luthier. According to Bill, John had suffered a stroke at the height of his carrer and unable to play, returned to Prior. We took his old Epiphone Emporer back to Peoria, Illinois with us to repair as John indicated that he wanted his son or perhaps a nephew to have it. After our return to Peoria, we were informed that John had apparent suicide. The Emporer was sold to one of our customers in Peoria at the behest of the family.

Personally, I think John's One Way album is one of the greatest guitar albums ever recorded.

Bill Cook
Cook Guitars
Mapleton, Illinois

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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