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Herb Ellis

Biography

Herb Ellis is certainly one of the best Bop guitarists to ever race through a set of changes, leaving many guitarists scratching their heads and contemplating the price of a good bass. His playing has a bright, hollow-body edge to it, with a touch of country and a hard-swinging sense of rhythm that's evident in his seemingly easy comping. His unaffected single-note riffs are interspersed with juicy chordal playing and blistering Bebop runs that will have you wondering how it's possible to pick so fast. He certainly doesn't overplay, but Ellis has had to keep his chops up to full speed -- he spent much of the beginning of his career with lightning-fingered pianist Oscar Peterson. Along with bassist Ray Brown, the three formed one of the best jazz trios that ever recorded, spurring each other on with playful zest. In addition, he's worked with most of the great jazz artists, including many unforgettable sessions with Stan Getz and Ella Fitzgerald.
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