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Lucky So and So

Kenny Burrell

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Album Review

Kenny Burrell has long been a superb guitarist, and has continued to play his bluesy brand of hard bop through multiple changes in jazz styles. Lucky So and So finds him in a comfortable quartet setting, with keyboardist Onaje Allan Gumbs, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Akira Tana bopping their way through a lively traditional set. This disc also features something unfamiliar to even the Burrell fan: the guitarist sings four of the ten selections. The music begins with a relaxed groove on Ellington's "The Feeling of Jazz," then slides smoothly into a nice version of Walter Gross' "Tenderly." For the most part, the pacing and mood remain mellow throughout Lucky So and So, giving the album a late-night feel. There's a blues drenched "Bass Face," a Burrell original, and a lovely version of "In a Sentimental Mood." Burrell's guitar work is fluid as always, and special mention should also be made of Gumbs' piano work. He has a style that reminds one of the great pianists from the '50s, like Wynton Kelly or Red Garland. Call it a flourish of tastefully placed notes that impresses because of the feeling injected into it. The biggest surprise of this album, though, is Burrell's vocals on classics like "My Ship" and the title track. He has a warm delivery that may remind some of Mel Tormé, brought forth in quiet confidence. Lucky So and So will sit comfortably beside other Burrell albums, and will please anyone who loves good guitar jazz. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: July 31, 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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