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Laid Back

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Album Review

This Kenny Burrell compilation from 32 Jazz collects some of the guitarist's best work recorded for the Muse label between 1978 and 1983. Perhaps not the Detroit native's most essential period, but a sorely overlooked one that reveals some great moments. Featuring variously Larry Gales, Reggie Johnson, and Rufus Reid on bass with Sherman Ferguson and Ben Riley on drums, the tracks are resolutely stripped back. In fact, the real joy here is that with the intimate trio setting one really gets to hear Burrell attack each song head-on in his own bluesy, minimalist style. Included here is an earthy rendition of "All Blues" that showcases Burrell comping behind his own tasteful blues choruses and a gorgeous afterglow version of J.J. Johnson's "Lament."

Biography

Born: 31 July 1931 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the leading exponents of straight-ahead jazz guitar, Kenny Burrell is a highly influential artist whose understated and melodic style, grounded in bebop and blues, made him in an in-demand sideman from the mid-'50s onward and a standard by which many jazz guitarists gauge themselves to this day. Born in Detroit in 1931, Burrell grew up in a musical family in which his mother played piano and sang in the Second Baptist Church choir and his father favored the banjo and ukulele. Burrell began...
Full bio

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