Herb Ellis

The Concord Jazz Heritage Series

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

With the exception of a 1988 version of "Blue Moon" (a duet with bassist Red Mitchell), all of the music on this 1998 retrospective CD is from the early days of the Concord label, including one track ("Look for the Silver Lining") from the very first Concord release. Guitarist Herb Ellis recorded frequently for Concord in the 1970s and '80s, but many of his sessions were rather lazy and introspective (if not dull). Fortunately, most of the music on this reissue has more energy than usual, and in some ways this can be considered the best of Herb Ellis in the 1970s. Ellis is mostly heard in hornless trios and quartets (other than an appearance by trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison on "Easter Parade"). Among his sidemen are pianists Ross Tompkins and Monty Alexander; bassists Ray Brown, George Duvivier, and Monty Budwig; drummer Jake Hanna; and fellow guitarists Joe Pass, Remo Palmieri, Cal Collins, and Freddie Green.

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