Youd be hard pressed to find a major jazz guitarist who wasnt a closet classical guitarist. The incredible Johnny Smith whose spotless chops and touch dazzled jazz fans for decades rarely had a classical guitar out of his hands. In a majority of the photos of the mythical Django Reinhardt we see him with a classical guitar in his front room or a gypsy wagon playing finger-style with a smile on his face. The great Nashville guitarist Chet Atkins studied with every guitar players hero, Andres Segovia until Segovia discovered that he played the electric guitar and then refused to teach him anymore. My own story is not much different except that I became so completely engrossed with classical guitar that I shunned jazz and pop styles for nearly a decade to study with Phil Boroff, (whose great playing is featured on a Segovia CD) and Herbert Stewart, a native Angelino who lived with Segovia in Paris for nearly a decade in the late sixties and early seventies before returning to LA. I took brief road tours with famous rock and pop bands or vocalists just to earn enough money to return to my Silver Lake or Echo park hovel and unplug the phone to focus on the study and practice of this enchanting style. During this period I played solo classical guitar in many Hollywood bistros at night and practiced all day learning new repertoire and also performed solo concerts throughout California. There is just something so magical and soul satisfying about this music for guitar that spans four centuries from the 16th to the 20th, that if youre not careful, you can be completely overtaken by the atmosphere and the mystic. You sit by yourself and your guitar sounds like an orchestra with several melodies floating along at the same timeyou play a Pavane from 16th century Spain and it transports you to that place.