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October 1998

Herb Ellis
An Evening with Herb Ellis
Jazz Focus Records

A first-generation disciple of Charlie Christian, long respected guitarist Ellis has been, if not actually in the forefront of a scene otherwise dominated by ex-rockers and fusioneers, at the very least a major stanchion in a resistant bulwark formed by such others of his musical temperament as Jim Hall, Billy Bauer, and Tal Farlow. Here, in the company of widely experienced bassist Chuck Israels and less well-known but equally accomplished pianist Bill MacDonough and drummer John Nolan, Ellis turns in pleasing performances on nine standards recorded in concert in 1995, among which "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Billie's Bounce," "Body and Soul," and "I Want to Be Happy" are likely to be of the most interest. The well-written, historically informed notes are by Doug Ramsey.

Originally published in October 1998
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