Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jazz Guitar & Memory

I've blogged about Kenny Burrell's album, Midnight Blue. I picked it up in a music store in Claremont California in the 1980's. It was one of the first compact discs I bought, and it was a remainder, so I got it cheap. It is a magnificent recording. Every soft echo is on the disc. Put it in the tray and turn off the lights, you will swear the band is in your living room. I had the pleasure of attending a Burrell concert back in grad school. He is the real thing. Here is the best piece off of Midnight Blue.
Kenny Burrell/Chitlins Con Carne/Midnight Blue
While I was living in Claremont, my brother got on a plane and flew out to see me. About that time, the jazz guitar player Lenny Breau was murdered. A concert was held to benefit his family, and my brother, who is a guitar player, went with me to the event. It was spectacular, even if funereal in spirit. I can't remember now all the great jazz guitar players who showed up. But Mundell Lowe was there, and Herb Ellis. I was already a fan of Ellis, and it was a high point to get to talk to him outside the club. Here is a bit of Ellis, with Ray Brown and Monty Alexander.
Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, and Herb Ellis/Tripple Treat Blues/Tripple Scoop
Ellis has got that feeling.

Last, but not least, my bro and I enjoyed listening to a double album by Wes Montgomery. That's West Coast jazz for you! Montgomery had that special trick of playing two notes across octaves at the same time in his solos. It gave his lines depth that is seldom replicated. Here's a sample:
Wes Montgomery/Full House/Full House
Well, that's memory lane in Blanchard Town. If you like what you hear, buy the albums. And either way, post a comment so I know someone is listening.

Here's something suggested by Andre.


  1. Great stuff Ken, keep up the good work.

    My favorite Montgomery album is "The Dynamic Duo", featuring Jimmy Smith. "Smokin' at the Half Note", featuring the Wynton Kelly Trio is also fantastic.

    Now that were talking guitars, take a look at Martien Oster, who plays a great Benny Goodman tune with his sextet:


  2. Thanks, André!

    That youtube clip was awesome. I added it to the post.