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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Burrell: Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's

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Guitarist Kenny Burrell, who isn't generally known for hanging out with big bands, now has one of his own: the Los Angeles-based Jazz Orchestra Unlimited, for which he serves as music director on its debut album, Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's. While the ensemble is splendid, individually and collectively, there's no doubt that Burrell is the star attraction. Any misgiving about that is erased by the fact that the names of orchestra members aren't listed in the Catalina's booklet except ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Kenny Burrell: Blue Lights – 1958

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The name on the cover is Kenny Burrell, but Blue Lights isn't really a Kenny Burrell album. He may be the leader, but the stars are everyone else. This is truly a democratic 1950s jam session. I came to Blue Lights fresh from Burrell's Midnight Blue, expecting another laid-back blues guitar vehicle. Not even close. Midnight Blue is where Burrell wound up in 1963. Blue Lights is where he came from in 1958 --a pretty straightforward hard bop ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Laid-Back Jazz Guitar: Kenny Burrell and Grant Green

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When I'm in the mood for jazz guitar, I have two go-to albums: Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue and Grant Green's Idle Moments. It always surprises me. Growing up in the 1960s and '70s, I was a big fan of hard and fast rock guitars. Who wasn't? Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend. The Clash. The Pretenders. Joan Jett. Prince. Chuck Berry and George Harrison. It's got a backbeat you can't lose it. So when ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Introducing Kenny Burrell – Blue Note 1525

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Stymied again! I really like Kenny Burrell, and I really want this CD. It's a great record. You just can't buy it easily or cheaply, at least not on Blue Note. First, consider the record and the artist. Kenny Burrell is the quintessential cool jazz guitarist, whether leading his own group or playing with an organ trio. And here we have Burrell's very first album as a leader, Introducing Kenny Burrell, recorded in 1956 with a ...

ONE LP

Kenny Burrell: Duke Ellington, The Great Paris Concert

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Kenny Burrell: University of California, Los Angeles, 7th May 2013 The record the maestro recorded in Paris in 1963; there are many great things on this recording. One that I particularly like--it's one of my favorite pieces in all of Ellingtonia and all music--is “Tone Parallel To Harlem," known as “Harlem Suite." This was commissioned in 1950 by Arturo Toscanini of The NBC Symphony Orchestra of New York. Duke Ellington at that point was pretty popular ...

INTERVIEW

Kenny Burrell: Every Note Swings

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Kenny Burrell has appeared on so many essential jazz recordings that jazz history and his story seem irretrievably intertwined. Billie Holiday's valedictory rumination Lady Sings the Blues (Verve, 1956)? Jimmy Smith's epochal funk throwdown Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note, 1960)? Tony Bennett's Carnegie Hall debut? Kenny Burrell played guitar for them all. Even Jimi Hendrix once famously remarked, “Kenny Burrell--that's the sound I'm looking for."Born in 1931 Detroit, Burrell seemed almost destined to become a musician. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Burrell: Prime: Live at the Downtown Room

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Guitarist Kenny Burrell remains one of the few living jazz giants to emerge from the hard bop movement of the mid-1950s. Set to turn 79 this summer [2010], Burrell still occasionally performs, when he isn't too busy with his position as Head of Jazz Studies at UCLA, including a week at Yoshi's that was culled into 75th Birthday Bash Live! (Blue Note, 2006). Prime: Live at the Downtown Room showcases six straight-ahead cuts recorded live at a Buffalo club in ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Kenny Burrell: The Ralph J. Bunche Suite

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Kenny Burrell The Ralph J. Bunche Suite UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications 2008

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche was a man of indomitable spirit. He had to fight against the odds to succeed, but formidable barriers did not deter him. Among his many distinctions was the Nobel peace prize, the first person of color to be awarded one.

Kenny Burrell celebrates the life and legacy of Bunche in his orchestrated work, The Ralph J Bunche ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Times Square Ball Drop? Who Needs It? Cookin' at the Jazz Bakery on New Year's Eve.

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Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Benny Green, Clayton Cameron, Trevor Ware New Year's Eve Jazz CelebrationThe Jazz BakeryLos Angeles, California December 31, 2008

Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Benny Green, Clayton Cameron, and Trevor Ware sparked a jazz-infused fireworks display bringing in 2009. Thousands may have watched with festive flair in temperatures of 4 degrees while the famous ball descended in Times Square, New York, but in Los Angeles on a foggy and cold New ...


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