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Don't Get Around Much Anymore

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Album Review

George Barnes has been unjustly overlooked by fans of jazz guitar, since he spent a good portion of his career as a studio musician, but the initial appearance in 2003 of this previously unreleased 1977 concert (recorded just a few months prior to his death) adds an important final chapter to his recorded legacy. Barnes leads his brand new quartet (with fellow guitarist Duncan James, bassist Dean Reilly, and drummer Benny Barth) through a delightful program of standards ("Sweet Georgia Brown," "Moonglow," and "Why Was I Born?"), gems from the vast Duke Ellington band book ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "Perdido"), as well as the popular "Theme From the Flintstones." Barnes' fluid playing and that of his group make them sound as if they had been together far longer. The excellent sound by engineer Larry Cummings is identical to the mix heard by the audience that very evening. The warm, detailed liner notes by Barnes' daughter, Alexandra Barnes Leh, add a nice touch to this highly recommended release.

Customer Reviews

Barnes is a monster...

This collection was originally released as an album called Blues Are Up. This was one of my all time favorite jazz albums. Haven't heard it in ages...not since my son ate the needle off of our turntable! The Flintstones theme will knock you socks off! Good to rediscover an old friend!

Jazz Guitar Extravaganza

Mr. Barnes is a Guitar Jazzmaster! He has a unique effervescent style full of spontaneity and humor, and will be immediately recognizable again after you hear him play just once. This recording features his quartet having a ball romping through a nice collection of standard jazz tunes, in a concert setting before an appreciative audience. The lineup is two guitars, bass and drums. The players are obviously having a great time, and the interplay between them is wonderful. Barnes plays dazzling single note lines, often digging in with some tasteful bluesy string bending, and rounds it out with beautiful chord work. If you like this outing, check out the live recording of Barnes playing with great jazz trumpeter Ruby Braff. Also listen to the great Concord Jazz concert recordings of Joe Pass and Herb Ellis.


Born: July 17, 1921 in Chicago Heights, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

A major player who has always been underrated, George Barnes was one of the first to record on electric guitar (accompanying blues singers) and was a top studio guitarist during much of his career. His style was very much based in the 1930s, and his single-note lines predated Charlie Christian, although he had much less of an impact. A professional by the time he was 13, Barnes was working on the staff of NBC by 1938. Based in Chicago, he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy, Washboard Sam, and other blues...
Full Bio
Don't Get Around Much Anymore, George Barnes Quartet
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