Kenny Burrell

Standards: Great Songs/Great Performances

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With his always cool tone, gently swinging bop style, and utter disdain for distortion, delay, or any other sonic tricks, guitarist Kenny Burrell has been a steady -- and steadfast -- figure in modern jazz for decades. He has worked with some of the greatest names ever to grace the genre, including the likes of John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Gil Evans, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Rollins, and Quincy Jones, to name just a few, and his session chart extends to over 200-some albums -- one could argue that he has been the most tasteful and consummate jazz guitar sideman of the past 50 years. He has also released a dozen or so album projects under his own name as a group leader, the best of which were recorded for Verve Records in the mid- to late '60s, the period covered by this brief, concise eight-track compilation. Smooth, gentle, and lightly orchestrated instrumental sides like the versions of standards “Last Night When We Were Young,” “Angel Eyes,” and “My Favorite Things” presented here showcase Burrell's calm, melodic strengths, making this set a perfect introduction to one of the best and most understated jazz guitarists of his generation.

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