Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: HighNote Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

My Blue Note Obsession
One LP
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles
[no cover]
Freedom
Blue Note
2011
buy
Tenderly
Tenderly
HighNote Records
2011
buy
Prime: Live at the Downtown Room
Prime: Live at the...
HighNote Records
2010
buy
[no cover]
Be Yourself
Blue Note
2010
buy
[no cover]
All Day Long / All...
Blue Note
2010
buy
[no cover]
Midnight Blue
Blue Note
2008
buy
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Pat Martino Pat Martino
guitar
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
George Benson George Benson
guitar
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Tal Farlow Tal Farlow
guitar
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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