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Kenny Burrell: Guitar Forms

It is easy to see why Burrell himself would accord this showcase a top ranking in his considerable discography. His playing is up to his usual high standard throughout, and he gets a chance to play both electric and a nylon string (identified herein as flamenco though I would have guessed classical) in a wide variety of superb settings arranged by Gil Evans. This record can certainly stand as a crowning achievement for a consummate professional.

A review for a guitar magazine would end there, without having any other criteria to consider. But I won’t press the idea that this music is as desirable to jazz fans as Burrell’s best small combo hard bop work. Still, his great blues feeling is on display, the arrangements are excellent, and the numerous alternates programmed back-to-back at the end of the disc allow us to see how completely Burrell could change his approach from take to take.

Originally Published