Introducing Kenny Burrell is the debut album by American jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, recorded in 1956 and released on the Blue Note label. In 2000, it was released on the 2 CD-set Introducing Kenny Burrell: The First Blue Note Sessions along with Kenny Burrell Volume 2, plus bonus tracks.
By 1964, when Soul Call was recorded, Kenny Burrell had established himself as one of the most admired guitarists in jazz. A guitarist of rare taste and musicality, Burrell shines in this small group with rhythm and blues leanings.
One of the great jam session recordings of the 1950s, All Night Long was under the relaxed direction of Kenny Burrell. The guitarist gathered together some of the finest young players on the New York scene, including Donald Byrd on trumpet and tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Jerome Richardson, one of the unsung heroes of the flute in jazz. Mal Waldron, Doug Watkins and Arthur Taylor were the rhythm section. The musical formats were uncomplicated; "All Night Long" a blues with a bridge, Waldron's "Flickers" a 16-bar pattern, Mobley's two originals based on familiar 32-bar chord sequences. From these simple, classic bases were launched performances with the hallmarks that have long identified any Burrell project: Relaxation, swing and high standards of musicianship.
Guitarist Kenny Burrell, 25 at the time, is heard during one of his earlier sessions playing in his already recognizable straight-ahead style with a quintet that also features the underrated baritonist Cecil Payne, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Elvin Jones. This album is a bit brief in time (just over 36 minutes) but contains plenty of fine swinging on tunes such as "Don't Cry Baby," "Drum Boogie," "All of You" and Bud Powell's "Strictly Confidential." It's enjoyable music.
One of our favorite Kenny Burrell albums – and a record with a much deeper feel than lots of his other work! Kenny cut this album with John Coltrane in 1958 – and the session's a real standout in both of their careers at the time – Kenny's, for being a well-crafted, highly-focused effort – and Coltrane's, for being a unique outing with a guitar, but one that's done with the same deep-spirited sound of his best work for Prestige. The group's a quintet, with Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb in the rhythm section.
For his final Prestige-related session as a sideman, John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) are supported by an all-star cast of Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Tommy Flanagan (piano). This short but sweet gathering cut their teeth on two Flanagan compositions, another two lifted from the Great American Songbook, and a Kenny Burrell original. Flanagan's tunes open and close the album, with the spirited "Freight Trane" getting the platter underway. While not one of Coltrane's most assured performances, he chases the groove right into the hands of Burrell.
Groove great Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Smith (Hammond organ) together on the same album. Includes a rendition of "Fever." Three days of spare studio time while Smith was at work on a big-band date led to this highly enjoyable blowing session. The principals' interplay on the title-track sums up their whole musical relationship: punchy, bluesy but soaked in the good homour of playing for kicks.
Kenny Burrell's guitaristry is well-documented in his years with Oscar Peterson and on his first dates as a leader on the Blue Note label, but God Bless the Child, his only date for CTI in 1971, is an under-heard masterpiece in his catalog. Burrell's band for the set includes bassist Ron Carter, percussionist Ray Barretto, Richard Wyands on piano, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and drummer Billy Cobham. CTI's house arranger, Don Sebesky, assembled and conducted the strings in a manner that stands strangely and beautifully apart from his other work on the label. Sebesky understood Burrell's understated approach to playing guitar…
Strange as it seems, the main criticism about this CD and about Kenny Burrell's playing during the past couple decades is that he is often overly tasteful. On this set (which has six unaccompanied guitar solos, four duets with bassist Ray Drummond, and three trio numbers with Drummond and drummer Yoron Israel), Burrell is so loving of the melodies that he adds very little of himself other than his beautiful tone. Although the tunes are superior, none of these versions are definitive and the mellow results rarely rise above the level of background music.
The great John Jenkins was one of the lesser-known sax stars to come out of the Chicago scene of the late 50s – but he was also one of the best! Jenkins played alto impeccably – with boppish agility, and a deep sense of soul that worked great on this one and only Blue Note session as a leader. The group features Kenny Burrell playing some of his best work on record – and the rhythm section features Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Dannie Richmond on drums – playing in a rare non-Mingus appearance! Tracks include "Motif", "Sharon", "Blues For Two", and "Chalumeau" – and the session is a wonderful bit of lost Blue Note – great sharp edges from Jenkins' alto, and some warmer, rounder tones from Burrell on guitar. CD also features 2 bonus alternate takes.