Friday, January 18, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Herb Ellis

Artist:Herb Ellis
Song:Sweet Georgia Brown
Album:The Concord Jazz Heritage Series

Guitarist Herb Ellis made his name as a member of Oscar Peterson's band in the 50s. He faded in the 60s but then recorded some great albums for Concord Jazz in the 70s. He was also a very popular session musician in Los Angeles. He was born Aug. 4, 1921 in Farmersville, TX and grew up in Dallas. He majored in music at North Texas State University but was forced to leave due to lack of funds. He joined Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra and then toured with Jimmy Dorsey. Along with pianist Lou Carter and bassist John Frigo, Ellis left the Dorsey band to form Soft Winds which was patterned after The Nat Cole Trio. In 1953, Ellis replaced Barney Kessell in The Oscar Peterson Trio and they remained together until 1958. Ray Brown was on bass. He was also part of the Verve Records house band and played on a lot of records. And he toured with Ella Fitzgerald. He recorded a few solo albums in the late 50s. He left Verve in 1962 and for the rest of the 60s concentrated on session work in Los Angeles. Ellis returned to recording when Concord Jazz was founded in 1972. He recorded with Joe Pass, Barney Kessell and plenty of other guys. He recorded for Concord through the early 80s. This comp covers those years. Sweet Georgia Brown is from the 1981 album Trio with Monty Alexander on piano and Ray Brown on bass. Herb Ellis continued to record and tour in the 80s and 90s. He died on on Mar. 28, 2010 at age 88. I would recommend Herb Ellis to jazz guitar fans. Here's Herb Ellis with bassist Dave Maslow performing Sweet Georgia Brown at the Triangle Bar in Minneapolis Feb. 1986. This is from the DVD Herb Ellis Live.

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