Kenny Burrell began playing guitar when he was twelve, and was influenced by Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Wes Montgomery. He’s a fantastic sideman, having played behind or with Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Lalo Schifrin, among others (the full list is here). As frontman, he’s recorded over a hundred albums, the best known being 1963’s Midnight Blue. The title track from that album is our first song today.
Still quite active, Kenny is a noted performer in the US, the UK, and Japan. (Our second song, “Jeannine,” was taken from a Japanese club date he played in 1990 with Bob Magnuson on bass and Sherman Ferguson on drums.) He started teaching classes on the music of Duke Ellington in the 1970’s (though they never played together, Ellington calls him his favorite guitarist) and currently serves as a Professor of Ethnomusicology and the Director of Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Kenny Burrell, your Two for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.