A masterful rhythm guitarist, Skeeter Best was also an above average lead player, though he didn't display it often. He'd been influenced by the duo of Charlie Christian and Freddie Green, and laid down slick, polished, and enticing riffs and supporting licks. His solo approach was a classic single-string style, with cleanly articulated, bluesy patterns and phrases. Best played in Philadelphia during the late '30s, then worked with Earl Hines in 1941 and 1942 until he joined the Navy. Best spent his time following his discharge playing with small combos, and participated in the landmark Soul Brothers session featuring Ray Charles and Milt Jackson. He recorded with Mercer Ellington in 1958, and later taught in New York City. Best made no sessions as a leader, but can be heard to good advantage on the Soul Brothers CD reissue. ~ Ron Wynn, Rovi

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