The Detroit native Kenny Burrell’s playing typifies the art of jazz guitar. He’s been recording since the 1950s and his bop-rooted sound can be heard on dozens and dozens of releases. A Night at the Vanguard captures Burrell, along with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Richard Davis, performing at the legendary New York nightspot in 1959. (The album was originally released as an LP in 1960; it was reissued in 1966 with the title, Man at Work.) This set of eight songs finds the trio in fine form, and it’s a delight to hear Burrell’s warm, full-bodied tone as he winds his way through blues, ballads, and other numbers. A Night at the Vanguard opens with an original, the bluesy “All Night Long,” where the guitarist nimbly riffs on the familiar form. “Broadway” features a nice exchange of succinct statements between Burrell and Haynes. The guitarist is a great lover of Ellington, and there’s an easygoing version of “Just A-Sittin’ and A-Rockin’” to prove it. The album closes with a mellow, smoothed-out version of the Monk classic, “Well, You Needn’t.”
All Night Long
Will You Still Be Mine
I'm a Fool to Want You
Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin' (Live 1959 / Village Vanguard)
Well You Needn't
8 SONGS, 35 MINUTES
℗ 1960 THE VERVE MUSIC GROUP, A DIVISION OF UMG RECORDINGS, INC.