Kenny Burrell

Man at Work

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What makes this particular Kenny Burrell outing, first issued in 1960 as A Night at the Vanguard, a winner is the instrumental lineup; first that he appears in a simple trio combination so that there are no distractions from his guitar playing, and second is that the players he chooses are two of the best, absolutely. Drummer Roy Haynes would still be rocking bandstands for four decades after this album was recorded, his stock rising time and time again during that period as listeners returned to various sessions he had played on to wonder at the wisdom in his drumming. He is joined here by bassist Richard Davis, certainly no slouch. With these two guys on the bandstand, Burrell could have shown up with a selection of magazines and everyone would have been happy. He keeps things cooking with a nice selection of tunes and lots of juicy playing; the whole thing happening at a volume level that allows for subtlety. Every move this rhythm section makes is right up front in the mix. Highlights of this better-than-average set are the covers of numbers written by pianists Erroll Garner, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk.

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