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    Guitar Expert

    by Doc Dosco

    This week we feature Tim May, a fine jazz guitarist and the busiest
    session guitar player in Los Angeles. Tim is also featured this month at John
    Pisano’s Sunday Workshop Series in Sherman Oaks, California. If you are
    in the Los Angles area next Sunday, don’t miss this! (be below)

    Tim May’s Fender Players Club Bio

    Like his friend, the late Tommy Tedesco, Tim May is one of those
    top-flight recording session cats whose career is measured not in years
    but in decades, and whose discography is so long that you can really
    only show the highlights. A veteran of the LA recording scene since the
    early ’70s, May’s guitar work has shown up on tunes by everyone from
    Jerry Lee Lewis to Stan Getz and everything in between.

    Coming from a musical family in Cleveland, he was encouraged to pursue
    a musical career. At age 15 he took a clinic with the legendary Howard
    Roberts, who took him under his wing, inviting him to watch a recording
    session and giving him sage career advice. One piece of advice he got
    from Roberts was to move to LA at exactly the age of 20 – which he later
    did. In the meantime he kept playing and at the age of 16 he met and
    jammed with George Benson for several hours in his hotel room.

    Moving to LA in 1974, May joined a big band which led to further
    connections in the music business, and by about 1977 he was getting so
    much session work that he no longer had time for live gigs. He met
    Tedesco while doing movie work for Warner Bros., and Tedesco gave his
    career a huge boost: “The influence of his attitude and his smarts was
    really really the best education you could get,” May recalled. “You know
    from hanging with him, all the stuff that rubs off. He was a big
    influence in getting me started, and as an example. Plus he was always
    open to discussing anything about his playing and studio work.”

    By the early ’80s May was playing on some of the biggest records of the
    decade. He seems to have had a knack for showing up on the first
    breaththrough albums of future stars and mega-stars, such as Lionel
    Ritchie, the Pointer Sisters, Juice Newton, and Whitney Houston, as well
    as established ones like Herb Albert, Kenny Rogers, Liza Minelli, Diana
    Ross, Linda Ronstadt, Donna Summer, Leon Redbone, and on and on. He’s
    also played some classic rock hits – like Blondie’s “Call Me” – and
    great movie scenes, such as Back to the Future: that’s Tim playing when
    Marty McFly blows out the walls with Doc Brown’s mega-amp, as well the
    famous “Johnny B. Goode” lead at the high school dance.

    May released his first solo CD in 1998, entitled One Piece of the Big
    Picture, featuring other LA session veterans, and since then he’s
    returned to the clubs to play live jazz. His second CD, Live Jazz
    Guitar, is nearing completion. In the LA area you can check him out live
    with the Tim May Trio featuring session wizards Abe Laboriel on bass and
    Bob Zimmitti on drums.

    Tim May on the web:

    Tim’s Homepage with sound clips:

    Special Announcement:

    Feb 20th

    John Pisano Presents
    The Jazz Guitar
    Sunday Workshop Series

    This month features:
    Tim May

    Program starts at 2:00 PM

    California Vintage Guitar and Amp
    5244 Van Nuys Blvd.
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    (818) 789-8884

    Tuition: 0.00

    Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in
    Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at,
    where you can find more information on the ‘What’s Hot with Jazz Guitar’
    columns, audio clips of Doc’s playing, and many additional features. Doc
    endorses Heritage Guitars and
    is a featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!

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