Archive for the Barney KESSEL Category

Barney KESSEL – Red Hot and Blues 1988

Posted in Barney KESSEL, JAZZ on December 22, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Barney KESSEL – Red Hot and Blues 1988

Blues

Kessel began his career as a teenager touring with local dance bands before moving on to bands such as that led by Chico Marx. He quickly established himself as a key post-Charlie Christian jazz guitarist. In 1944 he participated in the film Jammin’ the Blues, which featured Lester Young, and in 1947 he recorded with Charlie Parker’s New Stars on the Relaxin’ at Camarillo session for Dial Records. He is featured on the compilation Charlie Parker on Dial.[1] He was rated the #1 guitarist in Esquire, Down Beat, and Playboy magazine polls between 1947 and 1960.[2]
Barney Kessel is known for his innovative work in the guitar trio setting. In the 1950s, he made a series of albums called The Poll Winners with Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. He was also the prominent guitarist on Julie London’s definitive recording of “Cry Me a River”. Also from the 50s, his three Kessell Plays Standards volumes contain some of his most polished work.
Kessel was also a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown for a year, leaving in 1953. The guitar chair was called the hardest gig in show business since Peterson often liked to play at breakneck tempos. Herb Ellis took over from Kessel. Kessel also played with Sonny Rollins in the late 50s and can be heard on the Sonny Rollins And The Contemporary Leaders album on songs like “How High the Moon”.
A “first call” guitarist at Columbia Pictures, during the 1960s Kessel became one of the most in-demand session guitarists in America, and is considered a key member of the group of first-call session musicians now usually known as The Wrecking Crew. In this capacity he played on hundreds of famous pop recordings including albums and singles by Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Monkees and many others. He appeared in an acting part playing a jazz guitarist named “Barney” in one episode of the Perry Mason TV show. He also wrote and arranged the source music, including a jazz version of “Here Comes the Bride”, provided by the jazz combo that figured in the story.
In 1961 The Gibson Guitar Corporation introduced The Barney Kessel model guitar onto the market and continued to make them until 1973.
One custom instrument Kessel played was essentially a 12-string guitar neck attached to a mandolin body (similar to Vox’s mando guitar), which may have been played on the intro to The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”
During the 1970s, Kessel presented his seminar ‘The Effective Guitarist’ in various locations around the world.
On Pete Townshend’s 1983 album “Scoop”, Townshend paid homage to the guitarist with the instrumental song “To Barney Kessel”.
In 1988; Red Hot and Blues (Contemporary Records).
Kessel released several solo albums even late into his life.
Kessel died of a brain tumor in San Diego, California. He had been in poor health after suffering a stroke in 1992.
**
Barney Kessel- Guitar
Bobby Hutcherson- Vibes
Kenny Barron- Piano
Rufus Reid- Bass
Ben Riley- Drums
**
01. It’s You or No One   5:56
02. Barniana   4:45
03. You’ve Changed   6:24
04. Blues for Bird   6:40
05. Rio   5:59
06. Messin’ with the Blues   8:03
07. I’m Glad There Is You   5:33
08. By Myself   6:54
09. Blue Echoes   10:44
**
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Barney KESSEL – Kessel Plays Standards (Vol 2) 1955

Posted in Barney KESSEL, JAZZ on November 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Barney KESSEL – Kessel Plays Standards (Vol 2) 1955
1987 Issue. OJCCD-238-2

Jazz

Guitarist Barney Kessel teams up with Bob Cooper (mostly on oboe but also doubling a bit on tenor), either Claude Williamson or Hampton Hawes on piano, Monty Budwig or Red Mitchell on bass, and Shelly Manne or Chuck Thompson on drums. Other than his own “64 Bars on Wilshire” and “Barney’s Blues,” the repertoire on this CD reissue is comprised of jazz standards. Inventive frameworks and the utilization of Cooper’s jazz oboe (a real rarity in jazz of the time) give the otherwise boppish reissue its own personality. ~ Scott Yanow
**
Guitarist Barney Kessel teams up with Bob Cooper (mostly on oboe but also doubling a bit on tenor), either Claude Williamson or Hampton Hawes on piano, Monty Budwig or Red Mitchell on bass, and Shelly Manne or Chuck Thompson on drums. Other than his own “64 Bars on Wilshire” and “Barney’s Blues,” the repertoire on this CD reissue is comprised of jazz standards. Inventive frameworks and the utilization of Cooper’s jazz oboe (a real rarity in jazz of the time) give the otherwise boppish reissue its own personality.
By Scott Yanow, AMG.
**
This is really more on his body of work than this release alone. Get anything you can get your hands on by Barney. Everything he did was great and it was never about what he could do but about the music. I’ve been reading some webpages about him recently to find out more about him. First off, he may well have been the most recorded guitarist of all time. Like the guitar on the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds?” It’s Barney. Elvis’ “Return to Sender?” Barney, too. He did work with the Beatles. In fact, “counted among his fans such superstars as the late Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison.
“Barney Kessel is incredible. He’s just amazing . . . . Nobody can play guitar like that,” Lennon said following a recording session in the 1970s.
Harrison was even more enthused, telling an interviewer in the 1960s: “Barney Kessel is definitely the best guitar player in this world, or any other world.”
I’d always heard that he was very friendly to up-and-comers and everybody, really. What I didn’t know is that he was a devoted Christian, acc. to his wife. That’s really nice to know. There are very few great guitarists left. You have Herb Ellis, Bucky Pizzarelli from the days when there really was jazz. Barney was among the best. Seriously, get anything by him. My particular favorites are this one, “Easy Like,” and “Solo.” But they’re all great. His albums are not your typical guitar as frontman shredding away but real group efforts. Very enjoyable. For Barney, it was always about the music first.
By Christoph K. Bennett.
**
Bass- Monty Budwig
Drums- Shelly Manne
Guitar- Barney Kessel
Piano- Claude Williamson
Producer- Lester Koenig
Teno Sax, Oboe- Bob Cooper
**
01. Speak Low 2:42
02. Love Is Here To Stay 3:24
03. On A Slow Boat To China 3:14
04. How Long Has This Been Going On? 3:17
05. My Old Flame 3:36
06. Jeepers Creepers 3:48
07. Barney’s Blues 2:58
08. Prelude To A Kiss 3:10
09. A Foggy Day 3:08
10. You Stepped Out Of A Dream 2:49
11. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was 3:54
12. 64 Bars On Wilshire 3:17
**

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Barney KESSEL – Barney Kessel Plays Carmen 1958

Posted in Barney KESSEL, JAZZ on November 22, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Barney KESSEL – Barney Kessel Plays Carmen 1958
Modern Jazz Performances from Bizet’s Carmen
1986 Issue.

Jazz

This is an unusual set that has been reissued on CD. During an era when many Broadway and movie scores were recorded in jazz settings (thanks in part to the success of Shelly Manne’s best-selling My Fair Lady album), guitarist Barney Kessel chose to interpret nine melodies from Bizet’s opera Carmen. The guitarist is heard in three different settings: joined by five woodwinds and a rhythm section; with five jazz horns (including altoist Herb Geller and trumpeter Ray Linn) and a trio; and with vibraphonist Victor Feldman in a quintet. Kessel also wrote the arrangements, which pay tribute to the melodies while not being shy of swinging the themes.
An interesting if not essential project.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
**
(It is damn essential  Mr. Yanow….If not… my …
By themonk.
**
Guitarist Kessel had a long career, and there are more than 40 CD’s by him currently available. This one seems to me to be an unfairly overlooked gem. On this project, recorded in late December, 1958, Barney gives us 44 minutes of guitar-led swing, inspired by Bizet’s opera. The operatic origins peek out now and then, the Spanish setting is not abandoned, but even those who dislike opera or who are simply unfamiliar with that form can love the CD for the warm and uptempo jazz experience it provides. Joining Barney are Buddy Collette on flute and clarinet, Bill Smith, also on clarinet, Andre Previn on piano, Shelly Manne on drums, Jules Jacob on oboe, Pete Terry on bassoon, Justin Gordon on flutes, Joe Mondragon on bass, Chuck Gentry on baritone sax, Herb Geller on alto sax, Harry Betts on trombone and Ray Linn on trumpet. Not all at once…the disc sounds more like quartet or quintet playing than the nine or ten artists who sometimes contribute to a song. Miles Davis did a famous record called “Sketches of Spain” with a big band backing his trumpet, but in a subtle way. That work has its good moments, but is so consistently melancholy that I don’t really enjoy listening to it often. Kessel and his group have some passages of quiet beauty here, but overall, the project makes the listener cheerful instead of weepy, and therefore I think “Modern Jazz Performances from Bizet’s ‘Carmen'” is a better buy for jazz fans. The composer Bizet witnessed the failure of the first staging of “Carmen” in 1875, and died a few months later. As Vernon Duke’s liner notes reveal, within three years his condemned work was a worldwide hit, and has stayed that way for more than a century. So, if you like “Carmen” or 1950’s jazz, or jazz guitar from all eras, or just good music, consider buying this one. It has slipped under the radar of even Kessel fans, and while not the tragedy that Bizet’s death at age 37 was, it’s a shame.
By William E.Adams.
**
Barney Kessel- (Guitar);
Herb Geller- (Alto Sax);
Justin Gordon- (Tenor Sax, Flute, Alto Flute);
Chuck Gentry- (Baritone Sax);
Ray Linn- (Trumpet);
Harry Betts- (Trombone);
Buddy Collette- (Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet);
Bill Smith- (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet);
Jules Jacob- (Clarinet, Oboe);
Pete Terry- (Bass Clarinet, Bassoon);
Victor Feldman- (Vibraphone);
Andre Previn- (Piano);
Joe Mondragon- (Bass);
Shelly Manne- (Drums).
**
01. Swingin’ The Toreador (5:51)
02. A Pad On The Edge Of Town (6:46)
03. If You Dig Me (4:03)
04. Free As A bird (5:00)
05. Viva El Toro! (3:15)
06. Flowersville (5:59)
07. Carmen’s Cool (4:42)
08. Like, There’s No Place Like… (3:58)
09. The Gypsy’s Hip (3:56)
**

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