George Barnes

Guitars Galore

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George Barnes' work as a jazz guitarist is sadly underrated, though this Mercury LP is not really indicative of his career. Recorded in 1961 near the beginning of the stereo era, Barnes is heard with three separate soloists, trumpeter and fl├╝gelhornist Clark Terry, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, and clarinetist Hank D'Amico, none of whom is identified on the album jacket. The arrangements frequently add numerous unidentified guitarists in portions of nearly every song, and in one case ("Jeepers Creepers"), a bizarre honky tonk piano, though Terry saves the day. Originally part of an LP with a dozen tracks, this reissue deletes two of them. Without the gimmickry of the additional guitars, this long unavailable record might have been an outstanding release, but it will still have some value for jazz fans.