Kenny Burrell “Guitar Soul” (1957)

Track Selection: “Prelude to  kiss”  >

Kenny Burrell (g) Barry Galbraith (g) Leonard Gaskin (b) Bobby Donaldson (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ  May 10, 1957 and other tracks  dated 1957-9

Some jazz from guitarists. “No musical surprises on this one, just down-home cookin’ from some of field’s finest” as one reviewer noted, though I’ve chosen a slower tempo ballad. What suprised me was the ambitious choice as opening track of Charlie Parker’s “Billies Bounce’, on guitar .Takes courage to tackle that in my book, but then you had mastery of the instrument in those days, which  takes many years to develop – too many years for much of the current generation of laptop-based “instant musicians”.

Labels, runout and Liner Notes

Status, the “budget label” of Prestige, never the less still commands “original” status as a period historical artefact from the Fifties and Sixties, unlike later “re-issue”labels.

Collector Notes

Browsing in a record store, this caught my eye. Not sure what I was expecting, but this pleasant guitar outing was what I got. Not expensive at £15, and chance it may grow on me. I like Burrell but more usually in the context of harder-edged jazz. “Soul” in 1957 perhaps had a different meaning to that ten years later: no James Brown sax-machine here, but then it is “Guitar Soul” and not “Soul Guitar”. A  different metier.

I am sure I have seen that Prestige cover before, but in a different colour. (UPDATE: Extraordinary feats of memory, courtesy of The Amazing Memento (aka Dott. Jazz) we have the original source of that cover – Prestige 7095:

That is Bob Weinstock’s Prestige for you: every expense spared.

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5 thoughts on “Kenny Burrell “Guitar Soul” (1957)

  1. Good question, Detective Columbo. No trace of the missing signature, no sign of the body either, and we haven’t got a motive apart from the money. They tried to cover their tracks by changing the colour of the painting, and they would have got away with it but for the doctor. The perfect crime. Almost…

  2. I have the Rollins Plays For Bird. On CD of course. Never knew that there’s a Kenny Burrell album out there that uses the exact same cover illustration. Now I know that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but this is just the exact same thing, recycled. The original five column cover photo is a Reid Miles, Burrell’s four column cover simply omits the first one with his signature… If you’re going to re-use a cover all over again, why crop the name of the original designer out…?

  3. you’re right: Prestige 7095, Sonny Rollins plays for Bird.
    it’s a Reid Miles cover, orange-brown toned.
    there are 5 “columns with eggs” instead of 4 and at the bottom of the first on the left (missing in the Burrell), there’s Reid Miles signature.

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