Barney Kessel

Aquarius: The Music from Hair

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On paper, the pairing of bop guitarist Barney Kessel and the hippie musical Hair seems a little unusual, but the results are surprisingly enjoyable. Teaming with guitarist Ike Isaacs, organists Kenny Saloman and Steve Gray, bassist Tony Campo and drummer Barry Morgan, Kessel runs through all the familiar pieces -- "Aquarius," "Frank Mills," "Easy to Be Hard," "Good Morning Starshine" -- injecting them with a spirited sense of swing. Some of the tunes remain slight, and the guitarist doesn't always sound comfortable with the material, but overall it's a fun, albeit minor, entry in Kessel's catalog.

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