Kessel is featured on Daydream. Totally unaccompanied, Barney displays his artistry with as tasteful a piece of guitar playing as I've heard since the last time I heard him. Was it at the Peoples Theatre, the University Theatre or Gosforth Civic Hall? Thanks to his friendship with Maurice Summerfield the guitar maestro was a frequent, and most welcome, visitor to Newcastle.
Ruby Braff steps up to the plate for I've Got it Bad which serves to remind us of those halcyon days when the greats had an easily identifiable style. With recent Blaydon Jazz Club visitor George Wein on piano and more Kessel chording, this is just about unbeatable.
More solo guitar but, this time, it's KB rather than BK on Just-a-Sittin' and a-Rockin'. Burrell gives an equally impressive performance - a heavier blues-based style that offered contrast to Barney's lighter, more nimble approach. Deed I Do had solos all-round including Norvo on vibes whilst Braff put his inimitable brand on If I Could be With You. Ridley also solos and the bassist has his own moment of glory on Things Ain't What They Used to be.
The album draws to a close with a spirited rendition by les tout ensemble on Rose Room. Following Wein's intro, Braff is at his most fiery before making way for Kessel, Norvo and Wein to take it out. Not sure where Venuti was on this final number - perhaps he'd left to buy a cuckoo clock.
Released digitally on December 30 by MPS.