Reference: FSRCD 676
Bar code: 8427328606769
Guitarist Herb Ellis first became prominent as a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio from 1953 to 1958 in a musical and personal community of spirit rare in jazz history.
It was during this period that, in addition to recording countless Verve LPs with Peterson, he began making albums as a leader, including the two excellent releases in this collection. Recorded with the pick of the crop of West Coast jazz musicians, these sessions confirm an assessment Ellis made in 1961 of his own evolution through the years: As Oscar said to me, you can only develop what you are best capable of doing, I hope I can continue to develop in just that way.
His personal roots, affirmed here on Thank You Charlie Christian, but also evident on Softly... But with That Feeling, go back to another great guitarist, Charlie Christian. Before that I just played fast, Ellis said. In fact, the first time I heard Charlie I thought he really wasnt so much, because I felt I could play faster than that. Then after a few more times he really hit me, and I realized that speed wasnt everything. I got quite emotionalput my guitar away and said Id never play again. But the next day I got it out and started to try to play like Charlie.
He succeeded but, as these recordings prove, he found his own distinctive and inimitable voice to become one of the greats of jazz guitar.