Archive for the George Van EPS Category

George Van EPS – Mellow Guitar 1956

Posted in George Van EPS, JAZZ on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

George Van EPS – Mellow Guitar 1956
1999 Issue


The master of the seven-string guitar (which he invented) and a studio musician since the 1930s, George Van Eps only had rare chances to lead his own record dates. In fact, this classic album was his only recording as a leader during 1950-1965. Van Eps is heard playing in three settings: with a quiet rhythm section, a nonet arranged by Paul Weston, and a subtle string orchestra. Because he always came up with the most beautiful chords in the world, Van Eps’ playing throughout this set is quite delightful, performing ten standards (including “I’ll Remember April,” “Let’s Do It,” “Have You Met Miss Jones?,” and “The Boy Next Door”) and his own “Lost Canyon” and “Tango el Bongo.” Although some may think of this as easy listening music, a close listen reveals the intricate creativity of the great George Van Eps.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Pure, crisp, clean, perfect. 7 strings, of course, and the only guy who’s ever made that work. Warm tone, unmatched, even on an old recording. This guy could teach Stradivarius how to play. I’ve been waiting for this to come out on CD for years… he’s as rare as my ’57 Strat. Don’t pass it up. Whatever your guitar music preference is, from Henrix to Paco de Lucia, this guy is just awesome. You’ll be wondering, “How’d he do that?”, when you’re not thinking, “Wow.”
A renaissance man–he created a seventh string for his guitar, making the bass almost irrelevant–George Van Eps combined the clean precision of a classical guitarist with improvisational skills second to none. Whether accompanied by a hip string section led by Paul Weston, or just vibes, bass and drums (or bongos), Van Eps’ unquenchable fire burns an elegant icy blue on this 1956 uptown masterpiece.
The guitarist George Van Eps, who was a sometime bandmate of the legendary Eddie Lang and for many years a stalwart of the Los Angeles session scene, is heard here in a varied set of solo improvisations, orchestral arrangements, and small group recordings that, in addition to being vintage 1950s bachelor pad music, is a comprehensive demonstration both of his versatility and considerable fretboard skills.
George Van Eps- (Guitar);
David Sterkin, Felix Latkin, Eleanor Latkin, Harry Bluestone- (Strings);
Fred Stultz, Henry Beau, Ted Nash, Babe Russin- (Woodwinds);
Joe Howard- (Trombone);
Frank Flynn- (Vibraphone);
Paul Weston, Jack Ryan, Phil Stephens, Morty Corb- (Bass);
Alvin Stoller- (Bongos);
Jack Sperling, Nick Fatool- (Snare Drum);
Paul Weston- (Drums, Bongos, Background vocals).
01. I’ll Remember April (Gene DePaul, Don Raye) 4:10
02. What Is This Thing Called Love (Cole Porter) 2:31
03. Lets Do It (Cole Porter) 2:31
04. Yesterdays (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach) 2:27
05. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) 3:01
06. ‘S Wonderful (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) 2:38
07. Have You Met Miss Jones (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) 2:29
08. Tango El Bongo (George Van Eps) 2:54
09. Dancing On The Ceiling (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) 2:43
10. Lost Canyon (George Van Eps) 3:26
11. The Boy Next Door (Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane)3:08
12. I Never Knew (Gus Kahn, Ted Fio Rito) 2:49
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Howard ALDEN & George Van EPS – 7 Strings Jazz Guitars 1993

Posted in George Van EPS, Howard ALDEN, JAZZ on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Howard ALDEN & George Van EPS – 7 Strings Jazz Guitars 1993


This is the third of four studio dates featuring guitarists George Van Eps and Howard Alden together, except that they are both on seven-string instruments and without a rhythm section this time around. Alden’s step up to the more versatile instrument enables him to use a bassline when needed while also enabling him to achieve chord voicings that weren’t possible on a six-string instrument. Like their earlier collaborations, this CD concentrates on well-hewn standards that have great melodies which provide inspiration for lyrical improvisations, ranging from a relatively easygoing “Ja-Da” to a shimmering “Skylark.” Van Eps goes it alone on his newly written “Salute to Basie” and a very soft “Last Night When We Were Young.” Fans of jazz guitar should snap up this gem, along with all other dates by George Van Eps and Howard Alden (whether they’re together or featured individually).
By Ken Dryden. AMG.
A seven string innovator since the 30’s, Van Eps recently celebrated his 80th birthday and yet has the facility of his much younger colleague Alden who was long an admirer of the older master’s work. On this their third album for Concord, they explore standards like “Night and Day” and “My Romance” trading off rhythmic and soloing responsibilities with equal ease. “Lullaby of Burdland” is given an interesting harmony treatment as they double up on the melody. And then Van Eps goes it alone on “Last Night When We Were Young” and the two finish off the disc together on “I May Be Wrong But I Think You’re Wonderful.” A must have for any fan of the 7 string.”
By Matthew Horton.
It’s always a treat to hear another Howard Alden/George Van Eps album. The two guitarists, separated in age by nearly 50 years, have a masterful sense of collaboration on Seven and Seven. Alden, a relative newcomer to the seven-string guitar which Van Eps has played since the ’30s, matches the performance of his elder. This is their third album together, maybe their best. Like comfortable old shoes, the two guitarists slip into the eleven tunes with an ease that pleases.
Nanct Ann Lee.
Howard Alden- Guitar
George Van Eps- Guitar
01. Night And Day 5:27
02. Ja-Da 5:13
03. Just Friends 5:57
04. My Romance 5:30
05. Salute To Basie 4:23
06. I Surrender, Dear 6:41
07. Stella By Starlight 4:57
08. Skylark 4:42
09. Lullaby Of Birdland 5:16
10. Last Night When We Were Young 2:15
11. I May Be Wrong, But I Think You’re Wonderful 4:57

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