Coaxing a great tone from an electric guitar is harder than it looks, and Kenny Burrell consistently plays with both warmth and bite. His combination of deep blues sensibilities and thorough finesse, tempered with a considerable taste for understatement, earned the guitarist a well-deserved reputation for delivering the goods in the late '50s and early '60s.
Soul Call is yet another great Burrell record. On "Here's That Rainy Day," he epitomizes all that is cool in jazz guitar, framing his lush chord-melody statement using a minimum of voicings, and burning up the changes without ever overplaying, sacrificing clarity, or compromising his tone, all while infusing an achingly beautiful standard with a graceful blues tinge. He then repeats this achievement in a harder-swinging vein on "Lucky So and So" and on the ballad "A Sleepin' Bee. "Mark One" is an uptempo cooker by pianist Will Davis; Burrell himself contributes two blues, the late-night, conga-fueled slink of the title cut and the relentlessly jumping "Kenny's Theme."