HERB ELLIS

Bop / Bossa Nova / Swing • United States
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Herb Ellis (Mitchell Herbert Ellis, Farmersville, Texas, August 4, 1921 - Los Angeles, California, March 28, 2010) was an American jazz guitarist.

Growing up on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, Ellis first heard the electric guitar performed by George Barnes on a radio program. This experience is said to have inspired him to take up the guitar. He became proficient on the instrument by the time he entered North Texas State University as a music major. Ellis majored in music, but because they did not yet have a guitar program at that time, he studied the string bass. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, his college days were short lived. In 1941 Herb dropped out of college and toured for 6 months with a band from the University of Kansas.

In 1943 joined Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra and it was with Gray's band that he got his
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Nothing But The BluesNothing But The Blues
Verve Records 1994
$11.98
$3.37 (used)
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HERB ELLIS Discography

HERB ELLIS albums / top albums

HERB ELLIS Ellis In Wonderland album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Ellis In Wonderland
Bop 1956
HERB ELLIS Nothing but the Blues album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Nothing but the Blues
Bop 1957
HERB ELLIS Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre
Bop 1959
HERB ELLIS Thank You, Charlie Christian album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thank You, Charlie Christian
Bop 1960
HERB ELLIS Softly... But With That Feeling album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Softly... But With That Feeling
Bop 1961
HERB ELLIS The Midnight Roll album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Midnight Roll
Bop 1962
HERB ELLIS Three Guitars in Bossa Nova Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Guitars in Bossa Nova Time
Bossa Nova 1963
HERB ELLIS Together album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Together
Bop 1963
HERB ELLIS Man With the Guitar album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Man With the Guitar
Bop 1965
HERB ELLIS Guitar/Guitar (with Charlie Byrd) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guitar/Guitar (with Charlie Byrd)
Bossa Nova 1965
HERB ELLIS Two for the Road (with Joe Pass) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Two for the Road (with Joe Pass)
Bop 1974
HERB ELLIS Soft Shoe (with Ray Brown) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soft Shoe (with Ray Brown)
Bop 1974
HERB ELLIS Jazz/Concord album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz/Concord
Bop 1974
HERB ELLIS In Session With Herb Ellis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Session With Herb Ellis
Bop 1975
HERB ELLIS Rhythm Willie album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhythm Willie
Bop 1975
HERB ELLIS A Pair To Draw To (with Ross Tompkins) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Pair To Draw To (with Ross Tompkins)
Bop 1976
HERB ELLIS Hot Tracks album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hot Tracks
Bop 1976
HERB ELLIS Herb album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Herb
Bop 1978
HERB ELLIS Windflower album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Windflower
Bop 1978
HERB ELLIS Soft & Mellow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soft & Mellow
Bop 1979
HERB ELLIS The Herb Ellis Trio ‎: Herb Mix album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Herb Ellis Trio ‎: Herb Mix
Bop 1982
HERB ELLIS When You're Smiling album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When You're Smiling
Bop 1984
HERB ELLIS Herb Ellis Quartet : When You're Smiling album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Herb Ellis Quartet : When You're Smiling
Bop 1984
HERB ELLIS Roll Call album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roll Call
Bop 1991
HERB ELLIS Texas Swings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Texas Swings
Swing 1992
HERB ELLIS Down-Home album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Down-Home
Bop 1996
HERB ELLIS Burnin' (with Hendrik Meurkens) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Burnin' (with Hendrik Meurkens)
Bop 1998

HERB ELLIS EPs & splits

HERB ELLIS live albums

HERB ELLIS Seven Come Eleven (with Joe Pass) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seven Come Eleven (with Joe Pass)
Bop 1974
HERB ELLIS After You've Gone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
After You've Gone
Bop 1975
HERB ELLIS At Montreux Summer 1979 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At Montreux Summer 1979
Bop 1980
HERB ELLIS Sweet And Lovely album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet And Lovely
Bop 1984
HERB ELLIS Doggin' Around album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doggin' Around
Bop 1989
HERB ELLIS An Evening With Herb Ellis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
An Evening With Herb Ellis
Bop 1998
HERB ELLIS Blues Variations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues Variations
Bop 1998

HERB ELLIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

HERB ELLIS re-issues & compilations

HERB ELLIS The Concord Jazz Heritage Series album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Concord Jazz Heritage Series
Bop 1998
HERB ELLIS Gravy Waltz: The Best Of Herb Ellis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gravy Waltz: The Best Of Herb Ellis
Bop 1999
HERB ELLIS In a Mellow Tone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In a Mellow Tone
Bop 2000
HERB ELLIS In the Pocket album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Pocket
Bop 2002
HERB ELLIS Nothing But The Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing But The Blues
Bop 2010
HERB ELLIS The Midnight Roll: Complete Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Midnight Roll: Complete Sessions
Bop 2016

HERB ELLIS singles (0)

HERB ELLIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

HERB ELLIS Reviews

HERB ELLIS Two for the Road (with Joe Pass)

Album · 1974 · Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Guitar playing doesn’t get much better than this. “Two for the Road” was Herb Ellis and Joe Pass’ third album together, but the first one where they dropped their backing quartet and decided to go at it with just their two guitars. The lack of backing band is nice because every note and nuance from these two virtuosos can be heard clearly. Herb and Joe work together flawlessly, constantly weaving solo lines and comping chords together like poetry in motion and they never step on each other’s toes or sound clumsy. Although both take the time to show off ample technique, there is never any gratuitous shows of speed or pointless flash.

At first I wasn’t clear on which guitarist was which, but then I noticed in the very comprehensive liner notes on the LP that Ellis points out that Pass is coming from a Parkeresque bebop style, while he is channeling a more old school Charlie Christian style. This sums it up well as Pass is more likely given to fast scales and risky runs that push his playing to the limit while Ellis is more apt to stay in the pocket with a swingin bluesy approach. These differences are quite subtle as more often than not, once they start weaving in and out of each other, they sound like one mind and one voice. Its especially interesting when they both solo at once during brief sections of interplay, I think most others trying this would sound like a mess, but their rhythms are so precise that such busy interplay always sounds light and clean.

The choice of material on here is good, mostly they stay away from over played standards and focus more on blues centered numbers. That old guitaristic swing blues is the common ground that gives these two a springboard to work off of. There are no duds on this album, but a favorite is album closer, “Angel Eyes”, where the two slow down for a dark smoky classic noir urban jazz-blues, the kind you would hear in an old black and white crime movie. Also of special interest are the two versions of "Cherokee". The first one is played at break neck speed as Pass plays a furiously fast solo and proves why he may be the greatest guitarist ever. The second version is entirely different with a laid back sunny swingin effect. Highly recommended for fans of great guitar playing.

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