George Van Eps Seven String Guitar Jazz Genius 100th Birthday Special
George Van Eps (1913-98) is considered by jazz historians to be one of the great harmonic titans of the 20th century. Quoting guitar legend Barney Kessel "George is a master. George on guitar and Art Tatum on piano were light years ahead of almost everyone harmonically." George referred to his guitar as his "Lap Piano" and he was the premier master of the highly specialized field of finger-style chord/melody jazz improvisation. In 1936 he was the first jazz guitarist to be recorded playing electric guitar. He was also the inventor of the 7 string electric guitar in 1939. He could play the bass lines, chords and lead notes all at the same time. His playing was very technical, yet never lacking in beauty, musicality and originality. He had a pianist's approach to the instrument in composition and presentation. His playing can best be described as "intensely mellow". The top jazz guitarists would flock to his rare appearances and sit in stunned reverence as he played. The music presented will be recordings from 1949 to 1994. The "Great American Songbook" will be prominently featured. The show will feature him playing solo, within a trio/quartet and backed up by a string orchestra. Join us Sunday night at 6 PM for this special show highlighting one of the great, yet largely unknown jazz guitar legends in American music history.