Guitarist Jimmy Stewart (b. 1937) was an integral part of the Gabor Szabo Quintet from 1967 to 1969. His gossamer stylings – often on classical guitar – paired magically with Szabo’s angular, yet storytelling brand of songcraft.

“Gabor Szabo’s sound was extremely unusual,” Jimmy once told me. “That, coupled with his Hungarian field, made him one of the premier guitarists during the mid-60s and early 70s. Part of that sound came from his hands. The other part of the sound came from the type of instruments that he used.”

Their music together captured and preserved a moment of hope and excitement for what jazz could become. After the quintet disbanded, Stewart went on to work with Rod McKuen, Andy Williams and Barbra Streisand. He is said to have waxed over 1200 recordings.

Stewart and Szabo maintained their friendship throughout the remainder of Szabo’s life. The two often reuniting for shows on the West Coast. After Szabo’s 1982 death, Stewart organized a tribute concert in his honor at Donte’s, a favorite spot for the two guitarists.

Back in the early 2000s, I asked Jimmy if he would consider detailing some of Gabor Szabo’s equipment for me. Much to my surprise and delight, he wrote an impressively detailed text identifying the guitars Szabo used – as well as the amps, pics, strings and so much more.

Stewart wrote “The Complete Musician” column for Guitar Player magazine between 1971 and 1981. He is also the author of many books, including The Art, History And Style Of Jazz Guitar (1993), Mel Bay’s Complete Jazz Guitarist (1994) and Jazz Harmony (1997). Stewart’s recordings include Fireflower (1977), The Touch (1987), Memorabilia (1998) and Night People (2005, with Daryl Johnson).