Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Kenny Burrell: 75th Birthday Bash Live!

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
At 75, Kenny Burrell's career should be considered a lesson in longevity. Swinging as hard as ever, the guitarist's patented style of smooth-toned, blues-inflected bop that has made him a favorite of jazz audiences and an inspiration to legions of guitarists is strongly intact. 75th Birthday Bash Live! is a fitting celebration in honor of the Detroit native who has been churning out spectacular recordings since his debut as a leader over fifty years ago with Introducing Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1956). Recorded at Yoshi's in Oakland, California, the disc features Burrell backed up by the energetic Gerald Wilson Orchestra for the first half and a smaller ensemble to close things out.

The festivities begin with Wilson's signature piece "Viva Tirado, working well with Burrell punching out the syncopated accompaniment with the brass section. The guitarist steps lively through the modal framework of the tune and ends his solo with a statement of his famous "Chitlin's Con Carne. Burrell's relaxed vocalizing on "Stormy Monday bares an uncanny resemblance to the the tune's author, T-Bone Walker.

Half of the selections with Wilson, "Love You Madly, Sophisticated Lady, and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore, and another from the small group set, "Take the 'A' Train, reveal the guitarist's affinity for Duke Ellington. Throughout his career as a performer and educator at UCLA, Burrell has always been a staunch advocate for Ellington's music, and it comes as no surprise to find an abundance of it represented on this disc.

The second half of the session is a satisfying mix of standards performed in a more subdued setting by Burrell, bassist Roberta Miranda, drummer Clayton Cameron and special guests. The guitar trio format has always been a strong medium for Burrell to show off his dynamic range, and his renditions of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints and Miles Davis' "All Blues found on this release are no exception. Flutist extraordinaire Hubert Laws joins in on a somber reading of J.J. Johnson's "Lament and the Dizzy Gillespie anthem "A Night in Tunisia, also featuring saxophonists Jeff Clayton and Herman Riley.

Teaming with organist Joey DeFrancesco on a ravishing version of "I'll Close My Eyes Burrell recalls his classic sessions from the 1950s and '60s with Jimmy Smith that helped to define the organ/guitar sound.

Playing with the exuberance of a man half his age, Burrell displays unwavering conviction to his music and a love for the guitar that is inspiring. 75th Birthday Bash Live is a joyous reflection on one of the most prolific careers in jazz.

Track Listing: Viva Tirado; Stormy Monday/Blues for the Count; Romance; Love You Madly; Sophisticated Lady; Don

Personnel: Kenny Burrell: guitar, vocals (2, 12); Jeff Clayton: alto sax (10, 12); Herman Riley: tenor sax (10, 12); Roberto Miranda: bass (7-9), congas (10); Clayton Cameron: drums (7-12); Hubert Laws: flute (8, 10, 12); Joey DeFrancesco: organ (10-12); Gerald Wilson Orchestra (1-6): Ron Barrows: trumpet; Steve Hufsteter:; trumpet; Bijon Watson: trumpet; Snooky Young: trumpet; Les Benedict: trombone; Garnett Brown: trombone; Maurice Spears: trombone; Mike Wimberly: trombone; Kamasi Washington: alto sax; Randall Willis: alto sax, flute; Carl Randall: tenor sax; Louis Van Taylor: tenor sax, flute; Jack Nimitz: baritone sax; Anthony Wilson: guitar (1); Brian O

Title: 75th Birthday Bash Live! | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019