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'HE WAS A GREAT TEACHER' VALLEY JAZZ MUSICIAN, TEACHER TED GREENE DEAD AT 58.

Byline: Holly J. Andres Staff Writer

A guitar virtuoso and teacher, Ted Greene was an inspirational musician whose talent extended beyond those of his chosen career, relatives and friends say.

Greene was found dead Monday at his Encino home of undetermined causes. He was 58.

``He was the original, stereotypical Don Quixote - the idealist,'' said longtime friend Barbara Franklin. ``He was working to find harmony on this planet either through his music or his caring.

``When I heard him play, I would cry tears of joy. It was ethereal. The most beauty I've ever experienced.''

Greene was sometimes described as a jazz guitarist, but was primarily a master guitar teacher who inspired professional musicians as well as amateurs.

``He was an explorer - Ted would take ideas and take them to the max - that's why his books were just packed with stuff,'' said longtime friend and musician Rich Severson. ``As a teacher, he would expose people to things nobody else would have thought of.

``In one or two lessons he would give you enough to work on for five years. His harmonic concepts and counterpoint were almost mind-boggling.''

Greene wrote four guitar-instruction books in the 1970s - ``Chord Chemistry''; ``Modern Chord Progressions: Jazz and Classical Voicings for Guitar''; and ``Jazz Guitar: Single Soloing, Vols. 1 and 2.''

``His life choice was to be an educator,'' said local musician Tommy Kay. ``He felt that was his calling. He was a great teacher because he cared. He could teach people what was behind the notes. ... He was the oracle.''

Greene, who was born Sept. 26, 1946, in Los Angeles, was an accomplished guitar player by the time he was 13. He graduated from University High School in West Los Angeles. His most recent performances were at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.

``He was shy, but he was one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived,'' said composer and musician Dan Sawyer, who met Greene in the early 1970s when he was playing rock 'n' roll. ``His recording, 'Solo Guitar,' was a masterpiece.

``His influences were from Bach to Gershwin, but he was a student of all music,'' Sawyer said. ``He lived his life in a quest for knowledge and helping others.''

Greene's only recording was released in 1977. It was rereleased on compact disc in 2004.

``He was a total genius,'' said recording artist and local musician John Pisano. ``He was a walking encyclopedia of every aspect of the guitar.

``He was one of the kindest, sweetest people.''

Greene is survived by a sister, Linda Jainchill, and a brother, Ronald Greene.

A memorial service is pending. Details will be posted at www.tedgreene.blogspot.com.

Holly Andres, (818) 713-3708

holly.andres(at)dailynews.com

Staff member Steve Rosenberg contributed to this article.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jul 31, 2005
Words:463
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