J.W. Black Telecaster Custom Owned and Used by Bill Frisell Solid Body Electric Guitar

J.W. Black  Telecaster Custom Owned and Used by Bill Frisell Solid Body Electric Guitar
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Item # 9711
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J.W. Black Telecaster Custom Owned and Used by Bill Frisell Model Solid Body Electric Guitar, made in Eugene, Oregon, serial # MAST-BF-03, sunburst lacquer finish, ash body with maple cap; maple neck with rosewood fingergoard, black gig bag case.

This very interesting guitar is an unusual hybrid of Telecaster Custom and Jazzmaster features, with some unique twists all its own. It was specially built by former Fender Custom Shop Master builder J.W. Black for Bill Frisell, and has been used by Bill on a number of occasions.

The body is made of ash like a 1950s Fender but with a figured maple cap, bound on the top edge and finished in beautiful two-tone sunburst lacquer. The thick-slab rosewood fingerboard neck is finished natural; the headstock is the standard J.W. Black shape with the maker's logo in black script in the usual spot. The truss rod adjusts at the headstock end, and there is an extra fret extension over the body.

The bridge and vibrato are Mastery Jazzmaster units, generally regarded as more robust technical improvements over the original Fender designs while maintaining their playing character. The electronics feature two unique Callahan pickups, with Jazzmaster style windings and magnets in P-90 sized covers. These are made by Jeff Callahan in Eureka, California, who has supplied many pickups for J.W. Black custom built guitars. The instrument is wired in standard 3-pisition mode with no Jazzmaster rhythm circuit.

Interviewed a few years back, Bill Frisell had this to say about his J.W. Black guitars:

"J.W. Black used to work for Roger Sadowsky in New York back in the Eighties. He was around in the early days of the Fender Custom Shop; one of the first guys who made those relic guitars, you know? J.'s incredible; his knowledge of Fender stuff is outrageous. He's restored many, many Fifties and Sixties vintage guitars, and I don't think I've ever met anybody who knows them inside and out the way he does. When he puts something together, it's like you're getting to play one of those real old guitars ... but everything is working right. The pickups came from a guy named Jeff Callahan in Eureka, California - Callahan Pickups. He was another guy J. hooked me up with. I'm really liking Jeff's pickups."
 
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar is exactly as last used by Bill Frisell, including the strings and setup. It shows some light normal wear, with some checking, small dings and the finish on the back of the neck down to the wood on the treble side. This unique hybrid handles like a Telecaster but has a more Jazzmastery sonic palette, as one might expect. It was built especially for Bill Frisell as an experiment in mixing these two classic Fender formulas. Ultimately Bill ended up using a more standard Bigsby-equipped J.W. Black Telecaster more than this one.

The guitar plays and sounds fantastic, and is not quite like any other Fender-style instrument we have ever had. It was fashioned by a master builder for a master player, with its own unique character. It includes the gig bag it has lately traveled extensively in. We are honored to help this special guitar find a new home. Excellent Condition.