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Milestones

Barney Kessel

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I get the feeling that mainstream guitarists aren't talked about much around here, not even those considered "classic."  I'm a  big fan of Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, West Montgomery, and Grant Green--all of whom are distinctive and often quite creative.  But there is something to be said for significant, yet somewhat forgotten, figures like Bukcy Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis, and Barney Kessel.

I'm not sure I could even tell them apart, such as Kessel and Ellis, who were together in "Great Guitars" for a while.  I've known Ellis better, in part because of his longer stint in the Peterson trio.  But Kessel's  work with Oscar is not to be missed, including when the group backed Lester Young.  

I've enjoyed The Artistry of Barney Kessel compilation and the first Poll Winners record. He was also known to accompany the greatest singers: Ella and Billie.

"Great" may be too strong a word, but I'm now starting to look more deeply into Kessel's work and feeling he should not be a neglected guitarist.

Any recommendations (albums or individual pieces) are welcome.

 

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5 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Two good ones. "Feeling Free" has about the most "advanced" personnel of any of his albums -- 

and everyone clicks.

Indeed they do!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fksd3B0Uylo&t=887s

 

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I had not known Elvin appeared on a Kessel record.

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39 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Two good ones. "Feeling Free" has about the most "advanced" personnel of any of his albums -- 

and everyone clicks.

"To Swing or Not To Swing," which I bought when it came out, some 60 years ago, is just a lot of fun.

21JJRJ8G48L.jpg

51pHiFC-wTL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg

I own more recordings with Kessel as leader than any other guitarist. Strongly agree on Feeling Free; that's the one I listen to most often.

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1 hour ago, T.D. said:

I own more recordings with Kessel as leader than any other guitarist. Strongly agree on Feeling Free; that's the one I listen to most often.

So embarrassed that I didn't even remember I own a copy of Feeling Free...  :w   It looks tasty.  Will listen to it tonight...  ^_^

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The Poll Winners for sure.

Edited by jlhoots

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12 hours ago, Milestones said:

I've enjoyed The Artistry of Barney Kessel compilation and the first Poll Winners record

I'm a great Barney Kessel fan.

These are my Barney Kessel LPs recorded under his name (sorted by rec. date)

Like best the first 4 LP's. He was also very active with Norman Granz' JATP in the OP Trio. He was followed  in this Trio by Herb Ellis.

Kessel,Barney    Easy Like - Vol 1    1953    Contemporary    3511
Kessel,Barney    Kessel plays Standards - Vol 2    1954    Contemporary    3512
Kessel,Barney    To swing or not to swing - Vol 3    1955    Contemporary    3513
Kessel,Barney    Music to listen Barney Kessel by Vol 4    1956    Contemporary    7521

Kessel,Barney    Let`s cook!    1957    Contemporary    7603
Kessel,Barney    The Pollwinners    1957    Contemporary    7535
Kessel,Barney    CARMEN    1958    Contemporary    7563
Kessel,Barney    Poll Winners Three    1959    Contemporary    7576
Kessel,Barney    Some like it hot    1959    Contemporary    7565
Kessel,Barney    Barney Kessel`s swinging party    1960    Contemporary    7613
Kessel,Barney    The Poll Winners explorating the scene    1960    Contemporary    7581
Kessel,Barney    Working Out    1961    Contemporary    7585
Kessel,Barney    Swinging Easy    1968    Black Lion    130
Kessel,Barney    Feeling Free    1969    Contemporary    7618
Kessel,Barney    Summertime in Montreux    1973    Black Lion    210
Kessel,Barney    Blue Soul    1975    Black Lion    310
Kessel,Barney    Barney plays Kessel & friends    1975    Concord Jazz    9
Kessel,Barney    The Poll Winners Straigt Ahead""    1975    Contemporary(OJC)    7635

12 hours ago, Milestones said:

 


 

Edited by jazzcorner
correction

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Theses are 2 of my favorite Barney Kessel albums. 71dPRocPYhL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg21-fllmiTtL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg

Let's Cook! has 2 groups - Kessel with Victor Feldman, Hampton Hawes, Leroy Vinnegar, Shelly Manne. The other group has Kessel with Ben Webster Frank Rosolino, Jimmy Rowles, Vinnegar, Manne.

Spontaneous Combustion has Kessel with the Monty Alexander Trio - John Clayton & Jeff Hamilton.

 

I forgot to add this one to my Kessel favorites. With Kenny Barron, Bobby Hutcherson, Rufus Reid and Ben Riley

41ETXFFGYYL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg

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An other underrated guitarist is Howard Roberts. Some times they both sound  alike a bit.

Anyway I like Howard Robers also very much.37698374cn.jpg

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I'm kinda surprised that nobody seems to have mentioned "On Fire"...

 

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Some Like It Hot (album).jpg

I can't make any claims for how this stacks up against his other albums, but this one has the great trumpeter Joe Gordon, Art Pepper, and Jimmy Rowles on board. 

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Feeling Free is also my favorite Kessel record, by a considerable margin.

(And not just because it features Bobby Hutcherson! 😉)

 

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