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Kenny Burrell: 12-15-78

C. Michael Bailey By

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Critic’s Note. This collection was also reviewed by Jim Santella in the September Issue of All About Jazz.

My, How Repackaging Makes Music Better! One of the benefits of the compact disc revolution is that live performances once spread over several long-playing vinyl albums could now be brought together and heard as a cogent set. In rock music, the Allman Brother’s Complete Fillmore Concerts come to mind. In jazz today it is Kenny Burrell’s 1978 December concert at New York’s Village Vanguard.

Kenny Burrell reminds me of Milt Jackson. Both are essentially “chamber” musicians, those rare players who perform brilliantly in small places: duos, trios, and quartets. Interestingly, this performance, originally released on two Muse recordings, garnered only three of five stars each in the All Music Guide. To be fair, Mr. Burrell benefits from having all of the performances reunited. Burrell’s playing is at once intense and soft and assured. He smokes where he is supposed to and sooths where he should (“Pent Up House” on the former and “But Beautiful” on the latter). A super mid-career representation of one of the most important jazz musicians performing.

Track Listing (Disc 1):Second Balcony Jump; Willow Weep For Me; Work Song; Woody N’ You; In The Still of the Night; Don’t You Know I Care; Love You Madly; It’s Getting Dark. (Total Playing Time 49:05).

Track Listing (Disc 2):Pent Up House; But Beautiful; Bags’ Groove; Makin’ Whoopee; Come Rain or Come Shine; Love Your Magic Spell is Everywhere. (Total Playing Time 36:59).


Title: 12-15-78 | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Note


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