Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
They call themselves "The Great Guitars," and they earn their title by providing excellent musical fare.
Known individually as Charlie Byrd, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis, the three, who opened a six-night engagement Tuesday night at the Show-boat Lounge in Silver Spring, are also a striking contrast in styles.
Byrd is elegant, refined and lyrical. Kessel and Ellis are earthier in the way they construct improvisation. The former has a dark, brooding tone, which is used to good effect on the asymmetrical lines he plays. Ellis plays his fluid melodic themes in open, cheerful fashion.
They play together and separately - with and without the accompaniment of bassist Joe Byrd and drummer Wayne Phillips.
Most of their material comes from jazz or popular standards. So the night's proceedings included "Perdido." "Take the 'A' Train" and "Make Someone happy."
Some of the best performance, however, came on solo pieces. Kessel offered a warm, unaccompanied rendition of "Yesterday." Ellis followed with a rousing solo in "It Had To Be You," backed by bass and drums.
Byrd, whose background includes classical and bossa nova work offered a diversified set that including "O Pato," a Brazilian piece; a brief, pretty "Star Dust" and the complex rhythmic contours of "Spanish Dance No. 1" by Granados. He was joined by Ellis for a lush treatment of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Someone To Light Up My Life."
The one drawback was that the three didn't play together enough. Otherwise, they shouldn't be missed.