Mick Goodrick Obituary, Death – American jazz guitarist Mick Goodrick has passed away. The name Mick Goodrick should be one that every aspiring jazz guitarist should know instinctively He has taught a remarkable number of prominent guitarists, also including Wolfgang Muthspiel, Lionel Loueke, Nir Felder, Lage Lund, and Julian Lage, and inspired many more. Simply put, today’s guitar music wouldn’t sound the same without him. Now 72 and thousands of students later (including this writer), Goodrick has been an eminence in jazz education for half a century. During most of that time he’s been on the faculty at Berklee, where, influenced by Hall and Wes, he studied with Jack Peterson, Bill Leavitt, and Herb Pomeroy and earned his degree in 1967.

He was beloved by pupils and colleagues in ways that few jazz-guitar teachers have ever been. “He had an extraordinary way of unpacking my problems by listening attentively and then offering organic and often surprising solutions,” says Lage, who worked with Goodrick for two and a half years. “There was no limit to what he wanted to share. I owe an enormous part of my way of looking at the instrument to him.”

His signature contribution to the jazz-guitar pedagogy has been his attention to chord structures, harmony and comping. “For the most part, I think I got hired because of my comping,” he says. “And that’s one of the things I still encourage of my students. If you can make someone sound good, maybe they’ll hire you again. The person who is comping has the best job. That person is really the head of the rhythm section, the liaison between bass and drums and the soloist. Plus we also get to solo.”

During a conversation at his cluttered Berklee office in July, Goodrick illustrates this point with a story. A well-known drummer was on the bandstand with a bassist who displeased him. The music felt locked-in, tepid. All of a sudden Chick Corea, a master accompanist, showed up and asked if he could sit in. The moment Corea started playing the music caught fire; his comping lit the rhythm section up.
Goodrick’s many books, such as the Almanac of Guitar Voice Leading series and Creative Chordal Harmony for the Guitar (with Tim Miller), are exhaustive studies in voicings, the work of a scientist.

A completist, in which every last solution to a given problem is considered and annotated. He has also applied his meticulous attention to rhythmic cells and strategies for opening up the fretboard in soloing. “Every subject, whether voice leading, rhythm, motivic cells, etc., is logically taken to its comprehensive endpoint, so that nothing is left unexplored,” says guitarist Ben Monder. “But then he doesn’t make it easy for us; we are challenged to become our own cartographers of the maps that these systems suggest, thereby ensuring that we all take personal journeys and arrive at unique solutions.”