Jimmy has always occupied a special place in my heart both for his music and his humanity. In my opinion he is one of the great American masters and has a completely original voice in improvisation and composition. My parents had the good sense to send me to Jimmy for guitar lessons when I was fifteen and for three years I had my musical world transformed by Jimmy’s unique vision of harmony and melody. I was witness on a weekly basis to Jimmy’s spontaneous contrapuntal improvisations which spilled out of his hands with no effort. There is no excess in Jimmy’s music ..... melodies trail off into silence .... harmonies are expressed with two well chosen notes ..... silence is just as important as sound ..... and it all comes off sounding like what Bartok might have written if he was born of Cajun parents and schooled with Texas swing. All that being said it is his sweet presence that will be missed the most. Jimmy was the most humble, grounded, and kind human being I have ever known.
January 18, 2010