Great jazz guitarists were once two a penny. Many in the 1940’s and 1950’s found steady work in other people’s small groups and in studios. Irving Ashby (1920-1987) is long forgotten but he played at the highest level. For some time he played with the Nat King Cole Trio. Cole found fame as a singer but he was also an outstanding pianist and those who played with him had to be outstanding. Ashby played with Cole for several years and a typical recording featuring his guitar work was the 1949 ‘Bop Kick’. The two other members of the ‘Trio’ on this occasion were Joe Comfort (drums) and Jack Constanzo (bongos). Few of today’s famous strummers could match Ashby’s talent.