Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis & Barney Kessel: Lover




Great Guitars (Charlie Byrd, Barney Kessell, Herb Ellis)


Great Guitars II (Concord Jazz CCD 4023)

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Charlie Byrd (guitar), Herb Ellis (guitar), Barney Kessel (guitar),

Joe Byrd (bass), Wayne Phillips (drums)


Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart


Recorded: Los Angeles, April, 1976


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Without resorting to the manic metronome marking of quarter note = 5280 that for "Lover" had become de rigueur, this track swings quite nicely, thank you. What makes convocations of mature jazzmen consistently joyful is how complementary, not competitive they are. Whether soloing—in order: Herb, Charlie (acoustic) and Barney—or engaging in a delightful 3-guitar ensemble, the immodestly but accurately billed Great Guitars sum up earlier "Lovers," especially Les Paul's 1948 forerunner, while making their own distinctive contribution. It may have taken 35 years of recorded jazz "Lovers" to find just the right groove, but, hey, better Great than never!

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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