Kenny Burrell: 12-15-78
Senior Contributor since 1997Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.
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The Kenny Burrell Trio recorded Live At The Village Vanguard and Kenny Burrell In New York on December 15, 1978; hence, the title for this two-disc reissue. It doesn’t get much better for those who appreciate a guitar trio performing mainstream jazz. Burrell combines a great respect for the lyrical with harmonic chorded lines and a sweet tone in his work. It was in 1978 that the guitarist began teaching a course at UCLA on the life and music of Duke Ellington. Quite popular with students, the course still has a long waiting line for admission, after all these years. Burrell includes a few Ellington numbers on this program and works in a quote from "It Don’t Mean a Thing" on his upbeat arrangement of "Love, Your Magic Spell is Everywhere."
Bass and drums solo infrequently on this session. Drummer Sherman Ferguson takes a few extended solos and fours that express his penchant for space and a variety of textures. Ferguson’s drums are tuned loosely at different pitches; this, in support of a lyrical outing. Although he stays way in the background for most of the club date, Larry Gales’ big fat round tones jump out on "Makin’ Whoopee," as he has a lot to say and all of it tied to the melody. Ballads "Willow Weep for Me," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Don’t You Know I Care?" and "But Beautiful" drive home the message that Burrell’s unmistakable singing guitar style comes naturally and falls on ears that appreciate the reissue of this long out of print material.
Track Listingfor Live At The Village Vanguard : Second Balcony Jump; Willow Weep for Me; Work Song; Woody‘n You; In the Still of the Night; Medley: Don’t You Know I Care? / Love You Madly; It’s Getting Dark.
Track Listingfor Kenny Burrell In New York : Pent Up House; But Beautiful; Bags’ Groove; Makin’ Whoopee; Come Rain or Come Shine; Love, Your Magic Spell is Everywhere.
Personnelfor both sessions: Kenny Burrell- guitar; Larry Gales- acoustic bass; Sherman Ferguson- drums.