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Friday, October 29, 2010

Reggie Boyd RIP

From Bob Corritore




RIP Reggie Boyd - Birthdate information unavailable - October 17th, 2010. Sad news via Dave Specter and Dick Shurman from David Bloom of the Bloom School of Jazz and a former student of the man. Bloom writes:
"Reggie Boyd Sr., an icon Chicago Jazz guitarist-teacher died Sunday October 17. He taught three generations of great jazz musicians on all instruments. Reggie did some recording on his own, including his Age 45 "Nothing But Good"/"Nothing But Poison" which also featured Earl Hooker, bass on the Vibrations' hit "Watusi" and guitar on Fenton Robinson (I Hear Some Blues Downstairs) and Milt BucknerLPs, plus other sessions with Syl JohnsonJimmy RogersEtta James, etc. He did the horn charts on Fenton's Blues In Progress/Nightflight LP which I co-produced in '84; seeing those two old friends work together was quite a treat. But he may have been best known for being THE teacher other Chicago guitarists turned to, including many blues legends. Otis RushHowlin' WolfJames WheelerLouis Myers,Willie JohnsonJimmy JohnsonDave Specter, Syl and Fenton were just a few who took lessons from Reggie. Not long before he died, Robert Jr. Lockwood wanted to record Reggie and tried to discuss it with him, but it was too late for various reasons. Some purists criticized Reggie for "ruining" Chicago blues guitarists by teaching them too much sophistication; there's a well known story of Wolf waving a $1,000 bill at Reggie while telling him that he (Wolf) couldn't make that kind of money playing the "progressive sh*t" Reggie was trying to teach him. But he obviously had something a lot of his peers wanted, and his knowledge of theory and technique were truly formidable. Hopefully he's in a better place today, surrounded by his former students." Dick Shurman adds "Reggie was from Jackson, Tennessee, and Billy Boy Arnold also took lessons from him." Reggie's blues guitar work is most prominently exemplified with his fleet fretwork on Jimmy Rogers' "Rock This House" and "My Last Meal" cut in 1959 for Chess Records. Unfortunately, Reggie Boyd was a "behind the scenes" giant of a musician, so not much information is available. His work will live on through the recordings he made and by the many musicians that he influenced.

2 comments:

Marlin Rosado said...

I studied with Reggie Boyd for 5+ years. He was more than a teacher, he was a friend and a mentor. I will never forget him. He was one of a kind. He taught me about "The Academic Approach" to studying music. If you studied with him you know what I mean. Those who really benefited from his teaching will never forget him as a great musician and person. May he rest in peace.

Tom Paronis said...

I studied with Reggie for a little over a year and he was my neighbor in Hyde Park on the South Side so we hung out a bit. He opened many doors for me and every time I play I fall back on some of the stuff he taught me. He explained jazz to me in a blues context and got me thinking about modal playing, II-V-I changes, diminished chords, inversions, substitutions, etc. He used to call certain tunes the "halfway house"; ie half way between blues and jazz. While he opened me up to lots of stuff I like to think I expanded his universe in a small way by turning him on to people like Albert Lee, Tony Rice and Doc Watson. He was a cool cat and a great guy.