Although guitarists played an important role in rhythm groups ranging from swing to hard bop, they are an exception as bandleader. Among the most successful are George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Herb Ellis who passed away this spring. The present blues LP was the second recording made under his direction for the Verve label.
»My mother tells me I always played the blues«, said Herb Ellis in thinking back to his childhood. And this is exactly what he did on this LP from 1957: blues in every shape and form, in every mood, in every tempo. There’s not a dull moment with this range of variation; that’s simply impossible when his fellow musicians are called Ray Brown and Stan Levey. He freed himself quite simply from the piano (and maybe also from the omnipresence of Oscar Peterson) – the piano stool remained unoccupied. Just listen to this LP as far as "Royal Garden Blues" and with the hot-blooded Roy Eldridge, nicknamed 'Little Jazz', on the trumpet and Stan Getz, the cool and relaxed musician on the tenor saxophone, you will certainly know why blues is the talk of the town.