Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Herb Ellis Dies at 88

Herb Ellis, a guitarist whose smart, bluesy style was a consistent presence in jazz for more than half a century, died Sunday, the AP reports. … Read More "Herb Ellis Dies at 88"

Herb Ellis, a guitarist whose smart, bluesy style was a consistent presence in jazz for more than half a century, died Sunday, the AP reports. He was 88. The cause of death was complications related to Alzheimer’s.

Ellis’ playing presented an accessible, warm-toned ideal in jazz guitar. A player of the post-Charlie Christian generation that sought to emulate horn players with round, fluid, single-note lines, Ellis eventually became a fairly distinctive stylist by balancing common elements: He was adept in bebop, capable of the filigreed mastery associated with colleagues like Joe Pass or Barney Kessel, yet he always conveyed the blues and pulled frequently from its vocabulary (though not to the extent of, say, Kenny Burrell). And, like many players of his era, his sense of swing was indomitable.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published