“These are two great examples of gorgeous tone. Movin’ Wes is him performing in the studio, so you really hear him unadulterated, just doing his thing. Wes played with his thumb, and so right there that maybe contributed to the unique sound he got from his guitar. What he did was different from anybody else.
“I’ve experimented with this approach and positioned my thumb right where he used to. He had a sweet spot that he liked, and he knew how to work it. He would grab the pickguard with his fingers – there were literally holes dug in because his nails would grab the pickguard so much – and it’s like he anchored them there. That’s where he wanted his hand so he would get that sweet spot with the thumb. He knew what he was doing.
“More than that, Wes' tone sounded like there was a microphone in front of his guitar all the time. I always wondered if they put a mic in front of his L5 or something. I doubt they did, but there is a nice, airy, super hi-fi quality to it that just permeates the whole recording.
The song Round Midnight is earlier Wes with a real open jazz guitar sound. There’s a rich lushness to it, but it has a nice top end, as well. The combination is absolutely phenomenal.”