Vol. 3: To Swing or Not to Swing

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
Guitarist Barney Kessel's string of recordings for Contemporary in the 1950s included some of the finest work of his career. The unusual repertoire on this set -- which includes "Louisiana," "Indiana," and "12th Street Rag," along with four Kessel originals and more usual standards -- would by itself make this bop/cool set noteworthy. Add to that a very interesting lineup of players trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, Georgie Auld or Bill Perkins on tenor, pianist Jimmy Rowles, the rhythm guitar of Al Hendrickson, bassist Red Mitchell, and Shelly Manne or Irv Cottler on drums and some excellent showcases for Kessel, and the overall result is a recording highly recommended to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
Guitarist Barney Kessel's string of recordings for Contemporary in the 1950s included some of the finest work of his career. The unusual repertoire on this set -- which includes "Louisiana," "Indiana," and "12th Street Rag," along with four Kessel originals and more usual standards -- would by itself make this bop/cool set noteworthy. Add to that a very interesting lineup of players trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, Georgie Auld or Bill Perkins on tenor, pianist Jimmy Rowles, the rhythm guitar of Al Hendrickson, bassist Red Mitchell, and Shelly Manne or Irv Cottler on drums and some excellent showcases for Kessel, and the overall result is a recording highly recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/1/1991
  • Label: Ojc
  • UPC: 025218631723
  • Catalog Number: 317
  • Sales rank: 305,682

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Begin The Blues (4:29)
  2. 2 Louisiana (3:57)
  3. 3 Happy Feeling (3:58)
  4. 4 Embraceable You (3:24)
  5. 5 Wail Street (4:25)
  6. 6 (Back Home Again In) Indiana (3:13)
  7. 7 Moten Swing (3:58)
  8. 8 Midnight Sun (3:10)
  9. 9 Contemporary Blues (4:09)
  10. 10 Don't Blame Me (2:58)
  11. 11 Twelfth Street Rag (2:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Barney Kessel Primary Artist, Guitar
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Shelly Manne Drums
Red Mitchell Bass
Bill Perkins Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Rowles Piano
Georgie Auld Tenor Saxophone
Irving Cottler Drums
Al Hendrickson Rhythm Guitar
Technical Credits
Lionel Hampton Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Sonny Burke Composer
J.C. Johnson Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Ralph J. Gleason Liner Notes
William Claxton Cover Design
Bob Schafer Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Old-Fashioned Arrangements Can't Kill Kessel

    There was a lot cooler music being made when these tunes were recorded in 1955. Sometimes, it sounds like the arranger missed both the bebop and "West Coast" cool jazz waves. Some cuts harken back to a dixieland jazz type of feeling. Some hint at the big band swing style. Others are not as offensive (to me) in this regard. I really like "Embraceable You", "Moten Swing", "Midnight Sun" and "Contemporary Blues". And how many rock albums have I bought to just like one or two cuts? In any case, Barney Kessel tends to shine above the arrangements. I'm not sure if there was a better jazz guitarist working in 1955, although I know there were lots of them. Jimmy Rowles on piano and Red Mitchell on bass were getting lots of work around this time with some very "hip" combos. I wonder what they thought at the time of playing several "old fashioned" jazz arrangements? Maybe this shows my expectations for a 1955 L.A. session more than the reality. And you might think it's neat that the arranger did more than just blend the horns together in a typical "cool" jazz session. But again, Barney Kessel shines and you also get Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bill Perkins, Georgie Auld, Shelly Manne, Irv Cottler and Al Hendrickson. If you won't give Kessel more space in your library, look elswhere first.

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