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Ballad Essentials

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Album Review

Ballad Essentials compiles 12 remastered tracks recorded by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell between 1958 and 2002, encompassing his tenure with Prestige, Fantasy, Contemporary, and Concord Jazz. The romantic themes include four Duke Ellington compositions, the Miles Davis-penned "Blue in Green," and Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." The bop-based Detroit guitarist is backed up on these dates by various all-star ensembles that feature John Coltrane, Tommy Flanagan, Coleman Hawkins, Joe Sample, Jimmy Smith, and numerous others. This is another well-chosen set in the Concord Jazz Ballad Essentials series.


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...
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