300

Kenny Burrell: Prime: Live at the Downtown Room

By

Sign in to view read count
Kenny Burrell: Prime: Live at the Downtown Room 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 January 1976. As a bonus, the album also includes a 2006 solo guitar reading of Duke Ellington's lovely "Single Petal of a Rose."

The title of this release contains the word "prime," possibly suggesting that this recording indeed finds Burrell in his prime. Many might argue that Burrell did his best overall work for Blue Note during the late '50s-early '60s. That may be true, but this date shows a musician whose skills had only improved with time.

Joining Burrell on the 1976 portion are Richard Wyands (piano), Lisle Atkinson (bass) and Lennie McBrowne (drums). Each member of Burrell's formidable rhythm section honors the legacy of both Burrell and his myriad legendary collaborators, such as Horace Parlan, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey, respectively.

Highlights include a delightful version of the standard "Will You Still Be Mine" featuring fine soloing from Burrell and Wyands. Burrell also shines on an unusually cheerful reading of "God Bless the Child." What starts as a sensitive interpretation of the classic Billie Holiday ballad soon evolves into an up-tempo swing session.

The sound quality—especially during some of Wyands' solos—doesn't quite rise to the level of that heard on Burrell's Blue Note recordings. However, any lack of sonic perfection lends itself to the overall raw, intimate atmosphere. While enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy this addition to Burrell's canon, it's recommended that newbies start with his 1959 Blue Note live album On View at the Five Spot Café. Once they arrive at this 1976 recording, they will already possess a deeper appreciation for Burrell's talents that will surely enhance the experience.

Track Listing: Isabella; Will You Still Be Mine?; A Child Is Born; COmmon Ground; God Bless the Child; Do What You Gotta Do; Single Petal of a Rose.

Personnel: Kenny Burrell: guitar; Richard Wyands: piano; Lisle Atkinson: bass; Lennie McBrowne: drums.

Title: Prime: Live at the Downtown Room | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: HighNote Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Back To Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Back To Your Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.