Kenny Burrell - Recapitulation PT 1 of 2
Number of Discs: 2
Label: CHESS * MCA RECORDS
Bitrate: 320 kbps
"This compliation of the music of guitarist Kenny Burrell is part of the "Chess Jazz Masters Series", the 2-LP set was released in 1976 on Chess Records and features material from "The Tender Gender" (1966), "Man At Work" (1959), "Ode To 52nd Street" (1967), "Illinois Jacket - The Message" (1963), "Hank Jones - Here's Love" (1963) and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (1966). Players include Richard Davis, Roy Haynes, Cleveland Eaton, Elvin Jones, Charles Stepney, Morris Jennings and many others."
Burrell was born in Detroit in 1931. One of four brothers, all musicians, he taught himself the guitar while in high school, and worked locally with various bands before studying classical guitar at Wayne State University, where he graduated in 1955. In the mid 50's, Detroit was a good place for a jazz musician to come of age. The local talent included Hank, Thad and Elvin Jones, Paul Chambers, Barry Harris, Yusef Lateef, Billy Mitchell, Tommy Flanagan and many others. Burrell led his own bands and enjoyed brief stints with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson before making the move to New York in 1955. He immediately carved a niche for himself in the studios, making a series of records for Blue Note and Prestige, appearing as a sideman on countless sessions, and even recording an album of vocals. His versatility is evident in the range of his discography, which ranges from a session co-led with John Coltrane to backup work for the Shirelles.
The present collection serves as an exemplary demonstration of his many facets, as reflected by the music he recorded for Argo/Cadet between 1959 and 1967. The earliest material stems from the 1959 engagement at New York's Village Vanguard which produced the album "Man At Work". These six selections on side two feature Burrell's trio with Richard Davis and Roy Haynes, who had previously worked together with Sarah Vaughn and would subsequently play important, albeit separate, roles in the music of Eric Dolphy. Excepting the attractive ballad "I'm A Fool To Want You", the titles are all jazz standards. The juxtaposition of "Just A Settin' And A Rockin'" and "Well You Needn't" reveals the undeniable kinship Monk has for Ellington. Of special significance is the inclusion of "Afternoon in Paris" and "Tricrotism" which were never previously released.
In 1963, Burrell was the featured sideman on two highly regarded albums by Illinois Jacquet and Hank Jones. "Wild Man" is a fast blues highlighted by six and a half steaming Burrell choruses until Jacquet roars in during the seventh. The two selections that follow it on side four are from Jones' "Here's Love", a record devoted to the score of Meredith Wilson's musicale.
All of side one, plus the rocking blues "Suzy", with it's curious staccato theme, comes from the popular album called "The Tender Gender". The title tune and "Isabella" illustrate how evocative a composer and player Burrell can be, while "Mother in Law" and "Hot Bossa" present him in a swing groove characterized by an earthier tone, stop-time sections, and astringent chords. "People" is an unaccompanied statement by the guitarist. Also from 1966 is "My Favorite Things", the cookingest and most secular selection from his "Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas" album. The session marked the beginning of Burrell's association with the Chicagoan composer-arranger-bassist recored producer Richard Evans, an association which would become memorable a year later when they made "Ode To 52nd Street".
One of the most widely acclaimed albums of the 60s was Burrell's 1965 collaboration with Gil Evans on the Verve album "Guitar Forms". It was an ambitious meeting of soloist and arranger showing Burrell's many talents as no other record had: it started a series of orchestrated Burrell albums, the best of which was "Ode To 52nd Street" with "Suite For Guitar And Orchestra". Here is a four part suite that perfectly underscores the tasteful modesty and uncomprimising muscianship of both Burrell and Evans (no relation to Gil). It is an unpretentious work that was an unexpected, exquisite gem in 1967, and seems something of a classic today. Burrell is heard on both electric and acoustic guitar, both at balladic and swinging tempos, playing flowing, rippling melodies as well as muted, highly rhythmic effects. The unusual orchestra, mostly brass and strings, plays the work brilliantly and never recedes from full-scale collaboration. Like Ralph Burns' "Summer Eloquence", it is a delicate, timeless gem. Completing this collection is Burrell's great blues waltz "I Want My Baby Back", "Blues Fuse" and "Wild Is The Wind". ~ Gary Giddins
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax)
Hank Jones, Richard Wyands (piano)
Milt Hinton, Martin Oliver, Ben Tucker, Richard Davis (bass)
Elivin Jones, Roy Haynes, Morris Jennings, Oliver Jackson (drums)
Kenny Burrell - Recapitulation PT 1 of 2 Tracks:
01 Mother In Law
02 Hot Bossa
05 The Tender Gender
06 I'm A Fool To Want You
08 Afternoon In Paris
10 Just A Settin' And A Rockin'