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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CD Review: Barney Kessel - Live At the Jazz Mill 1954

Barney Kessel (guitar); Pete Jolly (piano); Gene Stoffali (bass); Art Kile (drums).
(Review by Maurice J. Summerfield).
In 1954 Barney Kessel was only 31 years old yet he had already had been, in the late 1940’s, the featured guitarist in the Artie Shaw, Charlie Barnet and Benny Goodman bands.  In 1947 he was a member of Charlie Parker’s All Stars and, in 1952 -1953, toured the world with Norman Granz’s JATP package both as a soloist and as an integral part of the Oscar Peterson Trio.  
Kessel also featured as sideman/soloist on dozens of jazz recordings produced by Norman Granz including groups as disparate as those led by Lester Young, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Kid Ory, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Harry Edison, Buddy De Franco, Buddy Rich and many other jazz greats.
Leonard Feather wrote in Downbeat, that Barney Kessel is as lyrical a guitarist as we have in jazz today, and is also a rhythmic natural who can outswing any man in the house.
This 62 years old, newly discovered, recording confirms that Feather was 100% correct. Taped by a, then 21-year old, jazz fan Jack Miller, the tracks have been selected from those recorded by Miller during Kessel’s ten-night residency at the ‘Jazz Mill’ club in Phoenix, Arizona backed by the Pete Jolly Trio.
The quality of the recording is surprisingly good.   Released 12 years after the great jazz musician’s death, this CD (also available on vinyl) shows Kessel at his swinging best and as such is a must for jazz guitar lovers.  Songs featured on the recording are Strike up the Band, How About You, Get Happy, Stardust, Seven come Eleven, Rose Room, Somebody Loves Me and Embraceable You.  Pete Jolly fans will also be delighted at the discovery of this early recording. 
Kessel is at the height of his powers here and one which I heartily recommend. My only small complaint is the CD, at 42.03 minutes, is a bit short by today’s norm although  vinyl fans might not complain!.
Maurice J. Summerfield.

1 comment :

Russell said...

A new release, great! Off to JG Windows to see if they've got a vinyl copy!

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