Praise for a Guitar Legend

An open letter to George Van Eps:

I was pleased to read Jim Washburn's story about your legendary career--guitar playing--and to know that you are still at it ("Easy for Him to Play," Aug. 14). The pictures were particularly good, and yes, I, too, am turned off by the "9 million notes a second" showoffs--it's more prevalent today than ever.

It seems to me that you have been making music as long as I can remember. In the '40s I heard your singing style and pre-electric guitar sound, and I still have several of your old 78-r.p.m. records.

The omission of any reference in the story to the series of excellent recordings you made in Hollywood for the Jump label bothered me. In my estimation, these are memorable examples of melodic jazz guitar sounds. And let's not forget the sides, also on Jump, with Eddie Miller and Charlie Lavere's Chicago Loopers. My feeling, even today, is that you were having a good time on those sessions.

Good to see your smiling face.



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