|The Louis Stewart Archive is a project established in 2021 by David Lyttle, who performed with Dr. Stewart from 2006 to 2010, to celebrate the jazz master's 50-year career. Though he often borrowed guitars from friends to aid travel, Louis owned and frequently played the following:|
Louis played an L-7 with Benny Goodman in the early seventies with an added Charlie Christian pick-up. In a 1975 interview he said that he had sold it, adding "I suppose we all make mistakes."
Louis' L-150 was a gift from Bucky Pizzarelli in 1974. Made around 1940, it had the original Charlie Christian pick-up and was previously owned by Joe Puma.
GIBSON SUPER 400 CES
Frequently mentioned in lists of key Super 400 players, Louis' late sixties model can be heard and seen on his seventies albums 'Out On His Own' and 'Louis The First', as well as his albums with George Shearing. Photographs show he was playing it up to 1987, though it is now owned by John Etheridge, who showed it to guitar.com for their feature on his guitars in 2015: "This wonderful Gibson Super 400, which belonged to Louis Stewart, one of the world's finest jazz guitarists. This is such a charismatic instrument, which has an enormous body but a skinny neck."
IBANEZ 2461 JOHNNY SMITH 'LAWSUIT ERA'
Louis played this copy of a Gibson Johnny Smith on 'Milesian Source', released in 1978. It can be seen on the cover but doesn't appear in later photos or videos. Johnny Smith was one of Louis' heroes, due his clean technique, and he would finally meet him in Wales at the 2003 Wrexham International Guitar Festival.
GIBSON JOHNNY SMITH ARTIST D
This photograph of Louis from an RTÉ television broadcast in 1988 shows him with a Gibson Johnny Smith Artist D.
GUILD ARTIST AWARD JOHNNY SMITH
Louis played his Guild Artist Award guitar as early as 1990. He used it on several recordings for the Jardis label in Germany the nineties, according to a studio engineer.
Guitarist/luthier Heiner Franz arranged for the creation of what Louis called his 'German Mongrel' in the early nineties. It features parts from several guitars and has 'LS' on the headstock. It can be heard on 'Overdrive' and seen on its cover.
Louis played an ES-175 (gifted by Mundell Lowe and sent by Fedex) frequently in the second half of his career, with George Shearing in the mid-nineties and on his penultimate album, 'Tunes' in 2013.
Louis owned an L5 only in later years and he played it on recordings with Heiner Franz and Nigel Mooney.
HEINER FRANZ NOSTALGIA
Louis brought this guitar to New York for his week at the Village Vanguard in 2001. It can be heard on 'I Wished On The Moon' (1999), along with his Gibson L-5C.