I recently acquired a 1956 Gibson ES-125 that I am very happy with, it has done a good job as my main axe, replacing my Eastman. The only issue is really with the p-90 pick up being noisy in certain situations (depends on the surroundings). That said, I'm really feeling like I need a change. I've spent a lot of years looking for the ideal "jazz" tone and I am kind of getting tired of it. The Gibson gets a tone I like, not too far off from the Eastman, so I am selling the Eastman.
I really am looking for a clean warm sound that is stronger in nature. I kind of feel like a lot of the warm, dark jazz tone lacks a certain dynamic range and expression that I like, for example when I am playing piano, I feel there is a total power of expression just in touch. On guitar, it's almost like sometimes I'm playing and it's like all the other players sounds are on the band stand and mine is backstage in a closet (even with tone wide open). I also recently kind of rediscovered Scofield and have been digging his stuff with Steve Swallow.
I have been looking at picking up some kind of semi-hollow body. Unfortunately, my first jazz axe was an Epiphone riviera and I hated the way that thing sounded, so I don't know what I should play to kind of get that bad taste out of my mouth. The most important thing for me is tone and presence. My favorite players, Abercrombie, Frisell, Sco and especially Kurt have this presence to their clean sound, its warm and bright, assertive not tinny or dark and removed. I've developed a distaste for the muffled sounding jazz guitar after searching for my tone in only the jazz guitar idiom. I've been playing jazz for about 12 years.
I want to totally revamp my rig (I also don't use any effects and currently play through a Henriksen amp). Any ideas? I really need a change. Much Thanks.