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Herb Ellis died


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Peterson Trio jazz guitarist Herb Ellis dies

Critically acclaimed jazz legend Herb Ellis, seen in 1989, has died. (Mark Elias/Associated Press)Jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis, best known as a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio and soloist alongside greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, has died.

Ellis, 88, died Sunday at his Los Angeles home after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease, according to his son, Mitch Ellis.

"The jazz world has lost a great musician and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and all who enjoyed his work," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the U.S. Recording Academy, which organizes the Grammy Awards.

The guitarist, who won a pair of Grammys while with the Oscar Peterson Trio, was "devoted to playing what he called straight-ahead mainstream jazz," Portnow said in a statement.

"As jazz has changed through the years and different styles have developed, Ellis always remained true to the form he played from the beginning."

Born in Farmersville, Texas, in 1921, Ellis began his musical studies as a child. Over a career that would span six decades, he eventually worked with such jazz luminaries as Fitzgerald and Armstrong, Jimmy Dorsey, Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie.

Early on, Ellis was a member of the trio Soft Winds, whose song Detour Ahead became a jazz standard, recorded by artists such as Billie Holiday.

However, he is most associated for his time with Canadian piano great Peterson's trio, with bassist Ray Brown filling out the roster.

Peterson, Ellis and Brown — which many fans considered the classic lineup — developed a reputation as one of the most remarkable trios in jazz history.

Peterson enlisted Ellis to join his ensemble in 1953 and they played together until 1958. They successfully reunited in the 1980s.

"That time was very special to all of them," Mitch Ellis told the Los Angeles Times.

"When they got back together in the '80s, it was a lot more fun, a lot more relaxed."

Ellis is survived by his wife, Patti, a son and daughter, and three grandchildren.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/music/story/2010/04/01/obit-ellis-herb.html#ixzz0jrYryc9B

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and Corey Haim.

I remember getting a live jazz album in high school when I was getting into jazz and the band leader or announcer introduced Herb Ellis in a really funny accent. Anyway, the gorgeous guitar playing that came out blew me away.

It may be an Oliver Jones album, though I'll have to check.

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