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Kenny Burrell: Guitar Forms

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (9/97, p.54) - 4 1/2 stars (out of 5) - "...careful listening reveals an incredible multi-stylistic foray that features not so much Burrell's polymath guitarworks, but arranger Gil Evans' genius at integrating unlike strands..."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Kenny Burrell (guitar); Gil Evans (arranger, conductor); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Bob Tricarico (tenor saxophone, flute, bassoon); Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone, oboe); Johnny Coles, Louis Mucci (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Ray Alonge, Julius Watkins (French horn); Bill Barber (tuba); Andy Fitzgerald, George Marge (flute, English horn); Ray Beckenstein (flute, bass clarinet); Roger Kellaway (piano); Joe Benjamin, Ron Carter (bass); Elvin Jones, Grady Tate (drums); Willie Rodriguez (congas).

Principally recorded at Van Gelder Recording Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 4 & 15, 1964 and April 12, 1965. Includes liner notes by Art Lange.

Though the jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell is associated mostly with Blue Note-based hard bop and soul-jazz (he had a hit with the funky "Chile con Carne"), he is also a musician of considerable artistry. Witness his landmark 1965 collaboration with Gil Evans, Guitar Forms, which rivals anything the arranger did with Miles Davis. Indeed, the track "Lotus Land" has a bolero form very reminiscent of Sketches of Spain. There is no stinting on the blues here, either, as evidenced on "Downstairs" and "Terrace Theme." But the highlights are the bossa nova version of Alec Wilder's "Moon and Sand," as well as a characteristically slow and luxurious treatment of Harold Arlen's "Last Night When We Were Young." Throughout, Burrell takes thoughtful, concise, and utterly musical solos, and even switches to acoustic classical guitar on "Prelude #2" and "Loie." ~ Richard Mortifoglio



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