Barney Kessel: 64 Bars on Wilshire


64 Bars on Wilshire


Barney Kessel (guitar)


Kessel Plays Standards (Original Jazz Classics 238)

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Barney Kessel (guitar), Bob Cooper (tenor sax), Hampton Hawes (piano), Red Mitchell (bass), Shelly Manne (drums).

Composed by Barney Kessel


Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, June 4, July 1, 1954; September 12, 1955


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Kessel's busy ode to a traffic-soaked Los Angeles thoroughfare contains several wild conflagrations by pianist Hampton Hawes, but Kessel himself steals the show with rapid-fire guitar leads. His name is rarely heard today (possibly because his parents named him Barney), and the disregard of his musical legacy is unfortunate. Such tracks leave me with the impression that Kessel is one of the more underrated guitarists in jazz history, despite his familiarity to many hardcore fans. Repeated airings of this easily obtainable track confirm those suspicions, as these bars have led to one of his best and most inspired moments.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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