The complex vertical harmonic structures of Coleman
Hawkins or the supple, flowing, melodic lines of Lester
Young? Hendrix’s blinding note clusters or B.B. King’s
economy? Early on, Reggie Young figured it out. He’ll blow
you away but with deceptively simple, elegant phrases.
You almost miss the painstaking craftsmanship because
now it seems as if no other notes could be there. A
perfectionist to the core, Reggie doesn’t want any of his
solos back. He knows they either complement the record
or make it, and he’s pretty sure he can’t improve on them.
With that degree of accomplishment, you’d think he’d
want his name on the records, “…featuring Reggie Young
on guitar”, but not so. Those who needed to know it was
him, knew. Inside the small circle of recording studios
and even smaller circle of fans who feasted on album
credits, his first name alone became shorthand for a style.
Spare. Soulful. Economical. Lyrical.