Herb Ellis

Thank You, Charlie Christian

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Thank You Charlie Christian pays homage to the legendary jazz guitarist in a manner most appropriate to an innovator of his stature -- rather than merely imitate that which is inimitable, Herb Ellis channels the imagination and expressiveness of his hero to create a lean, mean sound far more forward-thinking than nostalgic. Like Christian, Ellis favors feeling over flash and economy over excess -- paired here with pianist Frank Strazzari, bassist Chuck Berghofer, cellist Harry Babasin and drummer Kenny Hume, he creates a series of compact and determinedly contemporary bop snapshots in vivid Technicolor, not the black-and-white of a bygone era. A beautiful and heartfelt record that draws from the past but refuses to live in it.

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