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Album Review

On paper, the pairing of bop guitarist Barney Kessel and the hippie musical Hair seems a little unusual, but the results are surprisingly enjoyable. Teaming with guitarist Ike Isaacs, organists Kenny Saloman and Steve Gray, bassist Tony Campo and drummer Barry Morgan, Kessel runs through all the familiar pieces — "Aquarius," "Frank Mills," "Easy to Be Hard," "Good Morning Starshine" — injecting them with a spirited sense of swing. Some of the tunes remain slight, and the guitarist doesn't always sound comfortable with the material, but overall it's a fun, albeit minor, entry in Kessel's catalog.


Born: October 17, 1923 in Muskogee, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the finest guitarists to emerge after the death of Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel was a reliable bop soloist throughout his career. He played with a big band fronted by Chico Marx (1943), was fortunate enough to appear in the classic jazz short Jammin' the Blues (1944), and then worked with the big bands of Charlie Barnet (1944-1945) and Artie Shaw (1945); he also recorded with Shaw's Gramercy Five. Kessel became a busy studio musician in Los Angeles, but was always in demand for jazz records....
Full Bio
Aquarius, Barney Kessel
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Blues, Bop
  • Released: 1968
  • Clean

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