Barney Kessel (OJC: Let's Cook!
A lively, swinging date from 1957 that certainly lives up to its name. Guitarist Barney Kessel fits his perfect trio featuring bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne into one quintet with pianist Hampton Hawes and vibesman Victor Feldman and a sextet with tenor man Ben Webster, pianist Jimmy Rowles and trombonist Frank Rosolino. Over the course of five tunes, Kessel and company really stretch out nicely. Outstanding are Kessel's 11-minute title cut, deftly handled by the quintet, and clocking in at over nine minutes each are the sextet's imaginative takes on the Dixieland Jazz Band's "Tiger Rag" and "Jersey Bounce" (made famous earlier by Benny Goodman and here, a virtual showcase for Webster). Kessel shines on his speedy runs throughout, typically sounding like he's having the time of his life. He also yields nicely to his accomplished bandmates, who gel in a gently rocking groove that's quite easy to enjoy.
Songs:Let's Cook!; Time Remembered; Just In Time; Tiger Rag; Jersey Bounce.
Players:Barney Kessel: guitar; Leroy Vinnegar: bass; Shelly Manne: drums; Victor Feldman: vibes; Hampton Hawes, Jimmy Rowles: piano; Ben Webster: tenor sax; Frank Rosoloino: trombone.
Record Label: Contemporary