Kenny Burrell

Kenny Burrell Remembers Ernie Andrews

The guitarist and NEA Jazz Master pays tribute to the late vocalist (12/25/27 – 2/21/22) Ernie Andrews, a deep-voiced singer who scored a major hit (1945’s “Soothe Me”) when he was still in his teens but remained perennially underrecognized by non-musicians in subsequent decades despite working alongside Harry James, Cannonball Adderley, Gene Harris, Lionel Hampton, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, died Feb. 21 at Conroe Regional Medical Center near Houston, Texas, due to complications following a fall. He was 94. Guitarist Kenny Burrell, one of his closest friends for more than 50 years, contacted us to pay tribute.
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Revinylization #23: Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Oliver Nelson

Green's album follows the modal outlines that Gil Evans and George Russell had traced a few years earlier, though Green's sextet imbues the harmonies with a still-cooler blues and a jauntier swing. Green was influenced by Charlie Christian, one of the first electric guitarists to be influenced by Charlie Parker; and, like Christian, Green unfurled single-note melodies—I don't know if I've ever heard him strum the guitar—with a lithe, limber touch, in the manner of a horn player but also with a precise, steely clarity. There's a bracing, breezy quality to his playing that's unlike any other jazz guitarist's.
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Randy Napoleon: Rust Belt Roots: Randy Napoleon Plays Wes Montgomery, Grant Green & Kenny Burrell

One's response to jazz—indeed, to music of any kind—most often depends on where he or she is coming from. To erase any doubts about where he is coming from, guitarist Randy Napoleon has subtitled his album, Rust Belt Roots, "Plays Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell." This is music born of a Midwestern ethos: Indianapolis (Montgomery), St. Louis (Green), Detroit (Burrell). Napoleon called Michigan home before moving to New York City in 1999, and has never forgotten the enormous impact his esteemed forerunners had in that area of the country as well as around the world.