Thursday, April 22, 2010

Guitarist Herb Ellis Dies - March 28, 2010

Gibson guitarist, Herb Ellis, one of America’s finest jazz guitarists, died Sunday March 28, 2010 of complications associated with Alzheimer's. He was 88.

While studying string bass at North Texas State, Ellis heard jazz guitar legend Charlie Christian for the first time and chose to become a guitarist. Lack of funds forced Ellis to drop out of college and he went on the road with several bands, eventually joining Glen Gray’s Casa Loma Band in 1943 and began to get noticed by the jazz press. He then joined the Jimmy Dorsey band, formed Soft Winds with Lou Carter and John Frigo, and in 1952, replaced Barney Kessell in the Oscar Peterson Trio. With solo projects and touring stints with Ella Fitzgerald bringing Ellis critical acclaim, he was established as a major jazz guitarist and continued recording for various specialist labels until the ‘90s.

Herb was one of the players that I have been lucky enough to see play. Scott

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