Barney Kessel Essentials

Barney Kessel Essentials

Barney Kessel was one of jazz's most identifiable guitarists, best known for playing with session band The Wrecking Crew in the ‘60s and on too many soundtracks to count. As a bandleader, he came into his own back in the '50s, smoothly slipping between the swing and bop traditions. His deliciously relaxed rendition of “Autumn Leaves” reveals his genius for warm, chord-based melodies, and the uptempo “Happy Feeling” epitomizes the effortless, finger-snapping buoyancy of his playing. Kessel believed in simplicity, best heard in his 1961 arrangement of “Moon River,” a minimalist lullaby topped off with Bud Shank's sleepy flute.

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