Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of Barney Kessel's greatest albums ever – a rare Italian-only session that has a sparkly Brazilian groove! The record was recorded in Rome in 1970, and it's got Kessel's guitar fronting a combo with organ and some very tight percussion – all dancing around in a fast samba mode that's different from virtually anything else he ever recorded – very groovy, very upbeat, and very much what you might expect when the talents of a west coast guitar giant meets the best of the Italian studio scene of the time! There's loads of original tracks on the set – like "Freeway", "Lison", "BJ's Samba", and "On the Riviera" – and the whole thing has a breezy dancing feel that's really wonderful!
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Those seeking Barney Kessel's legendary jazz stylings should look elsewhere. As a guitarist in the `50s, Kessel was renowned for his cool, bop-inspired playing in small quartets on sessions with the Contemporary label. But in the early `60s he signed with Reprise and embarked on a series of pop records. This was hardly new territory for Kessel, as he'd been backing pop musicians for years, and was a first-call guitarist for pop titans like Phil Spector; but as a front-man, this was a break from the jazz sessions he'd previously led. On his debut for Reprise, Kessel reinterpreted Henry Mancini's soundtrack for Breakfast at Tiffany's with a septet that included the superb playing of Paul Horn on saxophone and flute.
On this relaxed date, guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Red Mitchell had a musical reunion; they had played together often in the 1950s. The music includes three Kessel originals, a pair of then-current pop songs ("Alone Again Naturally" and "Killing Me Softly With His Song"), "Summertime" and "Wave." The playing is fine, but no real surprises occur, and some of the subtle interpretations are a bit sleepy.
One of guitarist Barney Kessel's final recordings before a stroke put him out of action, this is an excellent quintet session with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Ben Riley. Three of Kessel's originals (a pair of blues and a bossa nova) alternate with four standards and Laurindo Almeida's dedication to the guitarist ("Barniana") on this well-paced and consistently swinging set; the uptempo version of "By Myself" is a highpoint.
One of the finest guitarists to emerge after the death of Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel was a reliable bop soloist throughout his career. He played with a big band fronted by Chico Marx (1943), was fortunate enough to appear in the classic jazz short Jammin' the Blues (1944), and then worked with the big bands of Charlie Barnet (1944-1945) and Artie Shaw (1945); he also recorded with Shaw's Gramercy Five. Kessel became a busy studio musician in Los Angeles…
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.
Guitarist Barney Kessel recorded regularly for the Contemporary label during 1953-1961, one gem after another. In 1969 he returned to Lester Koenig's label for this lone effort, a quartet set with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, bassist Chuck Domanico, and drummer Elvin Jones. The music is fairly free, particularly Kessel's four originals (which include "Blues, Up, Down & All Around" and "Two Note Samba" ). ~ AllMusic
This CD reissue brings back the original 1959 Barney Kessel LP of the same name and adds two alternate takes. The release of the movie Some Like It Hot served as a good excuse for guitarist Kessel to join together with Art Pepper (switching between alto, clarinet, and tenor), trumpeter Joe Gordon, pianist Jimmy Rowles, rhythm guitarist Jack Marshall, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Shelly Manne to interpret a variety of vintage numbers, most of which date from the 1920s. ~ AllMusic