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Jazz Articles about Barney Kessel

18
Album Review

Sonny Rollins: Go West! The Contemporary Records Albums

Read "Go West! The Contemporary Records Albums" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Apparently, the median age of a jazz listener is in his or her mid to late 40s. So, perhaps, the representative listener was born in the mid-1970s. Sonny Rollins first recorded in 1949. The recordings reviewed here were made in the late 1950s, well before many contemporary listeners were born. While there have been ample reissues of Rollins' work, most coincided with the still-active phase of his career. Much of his work has appeared since “Skylark" on The Next Album ...

14
Multiple Reviews

Contemporary Records 70th: Barney Kessel and Hampton Hawes on vinyl

Read "Contemporary Records 70th: Barney Kessel and Hampton Hawes on vinyl" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Almost a century ago, times were different and folks with the gumption to forge their own paths were more likely to make a mark on history. When you think of the documentation of jazz, names like John Hammond, Francis Wolff, and Ahmet Ertegun were integral to spreading the word of America's unique art form. Far less known is Lester Koenig and his iconic west coast endeavor, namely Contemporary Records. Founded in 1951, the label was home to such key artists ...

11
Getting Into Jazz

Barney Kessel: The First Four Albums

Read "Barney Kessel: The First Four Albums" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Beautiful work by a luminary of the jazz guitar. These albums are a showcase for Kessel's skill and sensitivity, and a reminder of how gifted he was as an arranger. Background Barney Kessel, perhaps the most celebrated jazz guitarist of the 1950s and ...

294
Album Review

Barney Kessel: Plays For Lovers

Read "Plays For Lovers" reviewed by Russell Moon


Guitarist Barney Kessel was the backbone of what I consider to be the most romantic album ever made, Julie London's Julie Is Her Name. It was only a natural choice for Fantasy to add Kessel's name to its list of Plays For Lovers compilations.

Barney Kessel Plays For Lovers is 67 minutes of generally gorgeous music recorded for Contemporary Records over the period from 1953 to 1988. The album consists of 16 standards, two of which are up-tempo: “Satin Doll" ...

177
Album Review

Barney Kessel: Barney Kessel's Swingin' Party at Contemporary

Read "Barney Kessel's Swingin' Party at Contemporary" reviewed by David Rickert


Swingin’ Party was recorded at Contemporary’s studio in from of a live audience (one can only wonder, given how many sessions were recorded there at this time, who might have been present). The reason for this is obvious; the setting combines the energy and spontaneity of a live performance with the pristine sound of the studio. Kessel’s style, as always, is a potpourri of bent notes and pull-offs, all cleanly articulated and full of unexpected phrases. Like a gracious host, ...

137
Album Review

Barney Kessel (OJC: Let's Cook!

Read "Let's Cook!" reviewed by Douglas Payne


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 ...

273
Album Review

Barney Kessel: Let's Cook!

Read "Let's Cook!" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Two sessions, one taste. What makes this special is a magic ingredient – fortune. Barney was called as a sideman for a Benny Carter date, but Benny couldn’t make it. Everyone else was there, so Barney was made the leader, and the tape started rolling. This let him jam with horns of great stature – Ben Webster and Frank Rosolino. The balance is a quintet session with a similar feel. What you get is simple blues, a loose feeling, and ...


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