Kenny Burrell with Coleman Hawkins: Montono Blues


Montono Blues


Kenny Burrell (guitar)


Bluesy Burrell (PRCD-30658)

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Kenny Burrell (guitar), Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Major Holley (bass), Eddie Locke (drums), Ray Barretto (congas).

Composed by Kenny Burrell


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 14, 1962


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

This early-'60s Kenny Burrell original is a relaxed setting paced by Ray Barretto's swaying Latin rhythms. The first soloist is actually Major Holley on bowed bass, and it's a nice one, but the main course follows immediately. That's when the old master tenorist, who just took his spot next to Burrell during the recording, gets the nod to start blowing.

Coleman's instantly recognizable wide vibrato and smooth legato is something that never gets old, and Bean laying it over a blues chord progression sounds as natural as breathing. That said, the real treat comes when Burrell and Coleman casually exchange short statements. Hawkins, the icon of prewar jazz saxophone, and Burrell, one of the major exponents of bop guitar, find much common ground in their love to swing.

The back-and-forth is so enjoyable that hearing the fadeout at less than five minutes is a letdown. "Montono Blues" is a jam session of two legends, generations apart, that deserved to linger.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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