Plays for Lovers

Plays for Lovers

by Barney KesselBarney Kessel


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Playing complex bop changes at a fast tempo was never a problem for Barney Kessel; few bop experts would disagree that his chops were impeccable, and it was a sad day for jazz when, in 1992, a major stroke forced him to retire from music. But when Kessel was still active, he was among bop's finest guitarists -- and not just because of his ability to play fast. Kessel was also a superb ballad player, and his romantic side is the focus of Barney Kessel Plays for Lovers. Assembled in 2003, this ballad-oriented compilation spans 1953-1988. Most of the selections are from the '50s, which were a very productive decade for the guitarist -- a fact that is illustrated by Kessel's sensitive, lyrical performances of "Angel Eyes," "Laura," "Embraceable You," and other standards. There's nothing superficial about Kessel's interpretations of these songs; emotionally, he digs deep and makes certain that he has something personal to say (much like Chet Baker on the trumpet or Stan Getz on the tenor sax). Kessel, to his credit, knew that there was nothing wrong with jazz being pretty; he realized that jazz could, at times, be pretty and still swing and one didn't automatically cancel out the other. And that outlook is very much at work throughout this CD, whether he is embracing "You Go to My Head" and "My Reverie" in the '50s or "I'm Glad There Is You" in 1988 (which was only four years before the stroke that ended Kessel's career). Barney Kessel Plays for Lovers isn't the last word on his ballad playing; nonetheless, this fine CD paints a consistently appealing picture of the guitarist's romantic side.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/07/2003
Label: Contemporary
UPC: 0025218902229
catalogNumber: 6022
Rank: 95269

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barney Kessel   Primary Artist,Guitar
Victor Feldman   Vibes
Elvin Jones   Drums
Shelly Manne   Drums
Red Mitchell   Bass
Rufus Reid   Bass
Jimmy Rowles   Piano
Harry Babasin   Bass
Arnold Ross   Piano
Claude Williamson   Piano
Justin Gordon   Bass Clarinet
Ben Riley   Drums
Kenny Barron   Piano
Ray Brown   Bass
Monty Budwig   Bass
Irving Cottler   Drums
Chuck Domanico   Bass
Hampton Hawes   Piano
Hendrickson   Rhythm Guitar
Bobby Hutcherson   Vibes
Jules Jacob   Oboe
Marvin Jenkins   Flute
Leroy Vinnegar   Bass
Howard Terry   Bassoon
Jerry Good   Bass
Stan Popper   Drums

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Larry Clinton   Composer
Matt Dennis   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Vernon Duke   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Claude Debussy   Composer
Jimmy Dorsey   Composer
Roy DuNann   Engineer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Adolph Green   Composer
Walter Gross   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Howard Holzer   Engineer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Lester Koenig   Producer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
John Palladino   Engineer
David Raksin   Composer
Billy Strayhorn   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Val Valentin   Engineer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Matty Malneck   Composer
Jamie Putnam   Art Direction
Arthur Johnston   Composer
Sam Coslow   Composer
Earl Brent   Composer
Paul Madeira   Composer
Jim Ferguson   Liner Notes
Eric Miller   Producer
Tom Size   Engineer

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