Barney Kessel

The Concord Jazz Heritage Series

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Other than his dates with the Great Guitars (which are not represented here), Barney Kessel led five albums for Concord during the 1975-1981, including a collaboration with fellow guitarist Herb Ellis. Kessel's work for the label as a solo artist tended to be a bit lazy and quiet, unlike his early, much more heated playing for Contemporary in the 1950s. Heard in settings that include a couple of trios, unaccompanied solos (why was "People" included here?), a septet including Herbie Steward on soprano, and the Ellis date (represented by "Monsieur Armand"), Kessel sounds fine, if somewhat predictable during this 1998 CD retrospective. Not too essential, particularly since the full sessions are readily available.

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