Described by the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors as “rooted in the traditions of Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith and Joe Pass”, Walt Bibinger began performing professionally at the age of 12. Today, Walt is busy with freelance session work having appeared on numerous CDs by artists of all musical genres.
“I purchased my L5 in the mid 1980s from a student of mine for $900,” says Walt. “He had come across three L5’s at an estate sale and I offered to help him find a buyer if I could take my pick of the guitars. I put him in touch with Elderly Instruments, who I was told bought the remaining instruments. I picked the best playing guitar, and really love it.”
Walt continues: “The ‘L5 Sessions’ recording came about after working with Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Laub and discovering that they also owned pre-war L5s. I talked them into bringing them to one of our gigs and we played a whole set acoustically – no microphones! A year later, we did a recording with the three guitars and it is due out this year (2015).”
Image above, left to right: Walt Bibinger (playing his 1935 L-5), Bucky Pizzarelli (playing his 1929 L5) and Ed Laub (playing his custom Dale Unger ‘American Archtop’ seven-string). “For the majority of the session,” says Walt, “Ed played his 16-inch L5, which can be seen sitting on the piano behind us in the photo.” The guys are recording an album – due out later this year (2015) – the working title of which is ‘The L5 Sessions’!