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Kenny Burrell

Kenny Burrell

American jazz guitarist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American jazz guitarist
Countries United States of America
Occupations Guitarist Composer Banjoist Jazz musician Jazz guitarist Educator
Gender male
Birth July 31, 1931 (Detroit)
Education Wayne State University, Cass Technical High School
The details
Biography

Kenneth Earl "Kenny" Burrell (born July 31, 1931) is an American jazz guitarist known for his collaborations with Jimmy Smith, including the 1965 Billboard Top Twenty hit album Organ Grinder Swing. He has cited jazz guitarists Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt as influences, along with blues musicians T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters. Burrell also serves as a professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Biography

Burrell was born in Detroit, Michigan. Both his parents played instruments, and he began playing guitar at the age of 12. He went on to study composition and theory with Louis Cabara and classical guitar with Joe Fava. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his recording debut as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's sextet in 1951, followed by the "Rose of Tangier/Ground Round" single recorded under his own name at Fortune Records in Detroit. While in college, Burrell founded the New World Music Society collective with fellow Detroit musicians Pepper Adams, Donald Byrd, Elvin Jones, and Yusef Lateef.

Burrell toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956 with pianist Tommy Flanagan. Within months, Burrell had recorded his first album as leader for Blue Note and both he and Flanagan were sought-after as sidemen and studio musicians, performing with singers Tony Bennett and Lena Horne and recording with Billie Holiday, Jimmy Smith, Gene Ammons, and Kenny Dorham, among others. From 1957 to 1959, Burrell occupied the former chair of Charlie Christian in Benny Goodman's band. Since his New York debut Burrell has had a prolific recording career, and critics have cited The Cats with John Coltrane in 1957, Midnight Blue with Stanley Turrentine in 1963, and Guitar Forms with arranger Gil Evans in 1965 as particular highlights.

In 1978, he began teaching a course at UCLA called "Ellingtonia," examining the life and accomplishments of Duke Ellington. Although the two never collaborated directly, Ellington called Burrell his "favorite guitarist", and Burrell has recorded a number of tributes to and interpretations of Ellington's works. Since 1996, Burrell has served as Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA, mentoring such notable alumni as Gretchen Parlato and Kamasi Washington.

Awards

Burrell has won several jazz polls in Japan and the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. Burrell wrote, arranged, and performed on the 1998 Grammy Award-winning album Dear Ella by Dee Dee Bridgewater, received the 2004 Jazz Educator of the Year Award from Down Beat, and was named a 2005 NEA Jazz Master.

Discography

As leader

  • Introducing Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1956)
  • Kenny Burrell Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1956)
  • Swingin' (Blue Note, 1956)
  • All Night Long (Prestige, 1956)
  • All Day Long (Prestige, 1957)
  • Earthy (Prestige, 1957)
  • Kenny Burrell (Prestige, 1957)
  • 2 Guitars (Prestige, 1957) – with Jimmy Raney
  • K. B. Blues (Blue Note, 1957)
  • "Monday Stroll" (Savoy Jazz, 1957) - with Frank Wess
  • Just Wailin' (New Jazz, 1958) with Herbie Mann, Charlie Rouse, and Mal Waldron
  • Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane (Prestige, 1958) – with John Coltrane
  • Blue Lights Volume 1 (Blue Note, 1958)
  • Blue Lights Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1958)
  • On View at the Five Spot Cafe (Blue Note, 1959)
  • A Night at the Vanguard (Argo, 1959)
  • Weaver of Dreams (Columbia, 1960–61)
  • Bluesin' Around (Columbia, 1961–62 [1983])
  • Bluesy Burrell (Moodsville, 1962)
  • Midnight Blue (Blue Note, 1963)
  • Crash! (Prestige, 1963) – with Jack McDuff
  • Lotsa Bossa Nova! (Kapp, 1963)
  • Blue Bash! (Verve, 1963) – with Jimmy Smith
  • Travelin' Light (Prestige, 1964) – with Shirley Scott
  • Soul Call (Prestige, 1964)
  • Freedom (Blue Note, 1963–64 [1980])
  • Guitar Forms (Verve, 1965)
  • The Tender Gender (Cadet, 1966)
  • Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (Cadet, 1966)
  • A Generation Ago Today (Verve, 1966–67)
  • Ode to 52nd Street (Cadet, 1967)
  • Blues – The Common Ground (Verve, 1967–68)
  • Night Song (Verve, 1968–69)
  • Asphalt Canyon Suite (Verve, 1969)
  • God Bless the Child (CTI, 1971)
  • 'Round Midnight (Fantasy, 1972)
  • Both Feet on the Ground (Fantasy, 1973)
  • Up the Street, 'Round the Corner, Down the Block (Fantasy, 1974)
  • Stormy Monday (Fantasy, 1974 [1978])
  • Sky Street (Fantasy, 1974)
  • Ellington Is Forever (Fantasy, 1975)
  • Ellington Is Forever Volume Two (Fantasy, 1975 [1977])
  • Tin Tin Deo (Concord Jazz, 1977)
  • Handcrafted (Muse, 1978)
  • When Lights Are Low (Concord, 1978)
  • Live at the Village Vanguard (Muse, 1978)
  • In New York (Muse, 1978)
  • Moon and Sand (Concord, 1979)
  • Heretige (Audio Source/Voss, 1980)
  • Listen to the Dawn (Muse, 1980)
  • Groovin' High (Muse, 1981)
  • Ellington à la Carte (Muse, 1983)
  • À la Carte (Muse, 1983)
  • Togethering (Blue Note, 1985) – w/Grover Washington Jr.
  • Generation (Blue Note, 1986)
  • Pieces of Blue and the Blues (Blue Note, 1986 [1988])
  • Guiding Spirit (Contemporary, 1989)
  • Sunup to Sundown (Contemporary, 1991)
  • Then Along Came Kenny (Evidence, 1993)
  • Lotus Blossom (Concord, 1995)
  • Love Is the Answer, featuring The Boys Choir of Harlem (Concord Concerto, 1998)
  • Lucky So and So (Concord Jazz, 2001)
  • Blue Muse (Concord Jazz, 2003)
  • The Ralph J. Bunche Suite (UCLA Ethnomusicology, 2006)
  • 75th Birthday Bash Live! (Blue Note, 2007)
  • Be Yourself: Live at Dizzy's (Highnote, 2010)
  • Tenderly (Highnote, 2011)
  • Special Requests (and Other Favorites) (Highnote, 2013)
  • The Road to Love (Highnote, 2015)

Compilations

  • 12–15–78 (32 Jazz, 1999) – compiles Live at the Village Vanguard and In New York
  • Introducing Kenny Burrell: The First Blue Note Sessions (Blue Note, 2000) – compiles Introducing Kenny Burrell, Kenny Burrell Volume 2 and K. B. Blues

As sideman

  • Jazzmen of Detroit with Tommy Flanagan, Pepper Adams, Paul Chambers, Kenny Clarke (Savoy, 1956)

With Nat Adderley

  • Little Big Horn (Riverside, 1963)

With Mose Allison

  • Ever Since the World Ended (Blue Note, 1987)

With Gene Ammons

  • Funky (Prestige, 1956)
  • Jammin' in Hi Fi with Gene Ammons (Prestige, 1957)
  • Bad! Bossa Nova (Prestige, 1962)

With Ernestine Anderson

  • My Kinda Swing (Mercury, 1960)

With Louis Armstrong

  • Louis Armstrong and His Friends (Flying Dutchman, 1970)

With Sil Austin and Red Prysock

  • Battle Royale (Mercury, 1959)

With Chet Baker

  • Chet (Riverside, 1959)
  • Baby Breeze (Limelight, 1965)

With Ray Barretto

  • Portraits in Jazz and Clave (RCA, 2000)

With Bill Barron

  • West Side Story Bossa Nova (Dauntless, 1963)

With Tony Bennett

  • Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1962)

With Andy Bey

  • Now! Hear! (Prestige, 1964)
  • 'Round Midnight (Prestige, 1965)

With Betty Blake

  • Betty Blake Sings in a Tender Mood (Bethlehem, 1960)

With Eddie Bonnemere

  • Jazz Orient Ed (Prestige, 1964)

With Pat Bowie

  • Out of Sight! (Prestige, 1965)

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

  • Dear Ella (Verve, 1997)

With Ronnell Bright

  • Bright's Spot (Savoy, 1956)

With James Brown

  • Please Please Please (King, 1959)
  • Try Me! (King, 1959)

With Ray Brown

  • Some of My Best Friends Are...Guitarists (Telarc, 2002)

With Donald Byrd

  • Motor City Scene (Bethlehem, 1960)
  • A New Perspective (Blue Note, 1963)
  • Up with Donald Byrd (Verve, 1965)

With Betty Carter

  • 'Round Midnight (Atco, 1963)

With Paul Chambers

  • Whims of Chambers (Blue Note, 1956)
  • Bass on Top (Blue Note, 1957)

With Ray Charles

  • Soul Meeting with Milt Jackson (Atlantic, 1961)

With Sonny Clark

  • Sonny Clark Quintets (Blue Note, 1958)

With Chris Connor

  • Chris Connor Sings Ballads of the Sad Café (Atlantic, 1959)
  • In Person (Atlantic, 1959)

With Blossom Dearie

  • Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green (Verve, 1960)
  • My Gentleman Friend (Verve, 1961)

With Kenny Dorham

  • 'Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia (Blue Note, 1956)

With Bill Evans

  • Quintessence (Fantasy, 1976)

With Gil Evans

  • The Individualism of Gil Evans (Verve, 1964)

With Art Farmer

  • Ph.D. (Contemporary, 1989)

With Tommy Flanagan

  • Beyond the Blue Bird (Timeless, 1990)

With Frank Foster

  • No 'Count (Savoy, 1956)

With Aretha Franklin

  • Yeah!!! (Columbia, 1965)
  • Soul '69 (Atlantic, 1969)

With Red Garland

  • Red Garland Revisited! (Prestige, 1957 [1969])

With Stan Getz

  • Reflections (Verve, 1963)
  • Getz Au Go Go (Verve, 1965)
  • What the World Needs Now: Stan Getz Plays Burt Bacharach and Hal David (Verve, 1968)

With Terry Gibbs

  • Take It from Me (Impulse!, 1964)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Dee Gee Days: The Savoy Sessions (Savoy, 1951–52 [1976])

With Paul Gonsalves

  • Cleopatra Feelin' Jazzy (Impulse!, 1963)

With Babs Gonzales

  • Tales of Manhattan: The Cool Philosophy of Babs Gonzales (Jaro, 1959)

With Sandy Graham

  • Comes Love (Jazz Link Enterprises, 2000)

With Roland Hanna

  • Destry Rides Again (ATCO, 1959)

With Nancy Harrow

  • Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (Candid, 1961)

With Coleman Hawkins

  • Soul (Prestige, 1958)
  • The Hawk Relaxes (Moodsville, 1961)

With Eddie Harris

  • Cool Sax from Hollywood to Broadway (Columbia, 1964)

With Gene Harris

  • World Tour 1990 (Concord Jazz, 1990)

With Johnny Hartman

  • I Just Dropped by to Say Hello (Impulse!, 1964)

With Jimmy Heath

  • On the Trail (Riverside, 1964)

With Johnny Hodges

  • Sandy's Gone (Verve, 1963)
  • Mess of Blues (Verve, 1964) with Wild Bill Davis
  • Blue Rabbit (Verve)
  • Stride Right (Verve, 1966) with Earl "Fatha" Hines

With Jay Hoggard

  • The Fountain (Muse, 1991)

With Billie Holiday

  • Lady Sings the Blues (Clef, 1956)

With Shirley Horn

  • Loads of Love (Mercury, 1963)

With Lena Horne

  • Stormy Weather (RCA Victor, 1957)

With Milt Jackson

  • Bags & Flutes (Atlantic, 1957)
  • Bean Bags with Coleman Hawkins (Atlantic, 1958)
  • Vibrations (Atlantic, 1960–61)
  • Soul Meeting with Ray Charles (Atlantic, 1961)
  • Much in Common with Ray Brown (Verve, 1964)

With Willis Jackson

  • Bossa Nova Plus (Prestige, 1962)

With Illinois Jacquet

  • The Cool Rage (Verve, 1958)
  • The Message (Argo, 1963)
  • Desert Winds (Argo, 1964)
  • Birthday Party (Groove Note, 1999)

With John Jenkins

  • John Jenkins with Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1957)

With Budd Johnson

  • French Cookin' (Argo, 1963)

With J. J. Johnson

  • Broadway Express (RCA Victor, 1965)

With Etta Jones

  • Love Shout (Prestige, 1962)
  • Hollar! (Prestige, 1962)

With Hank Jones

  • Porgy and Bess (Capitol, 1959)
  • Here's Love (Argo, 1963)
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (Galaxy, 1978)

With Quincy Jones

  • The Birth of a Band! (Mercury, 1959)
  • Birth of a Band, Vol. 2 (Mercury, 1959)

With Thad Jones

  • Detroit-New York Junction (Blue Note, 1956)
  • After Hours (Prestige, 1957)

With Taft Jordan

  • Mood Indigo (Moodsville, 1961)

With Bev Kelly

  • Love Locked Out (Riverside, 1960)

With Wynton Kelly

  • Piano (Riverside, 1958)
  • Comin' in the Back Door (Verve, 1963)
  • It's All Right! (Verve, 1964)

With Joe Kennedy, Jr.

  • Strings by Candlelight (CAP, 1962)

With B.B. King

  • Live at the Apollo (GRP, 1991)

With Yusef Lateef

  • The Blue Yusef Lateef (Atlantic, 1968)

With Hubert Laws

  • Laws' Cause (Atlantic, 1968)

With The Leiber–Stoller Big Band

  • Yakety Yak (Atlantic, 1960)

With Melba Liston

  • Melba Liston and Her 'Bones (MetroJazz, 1959)

With Gloria Lynne

  • Miss Gloria Lynne (Everest, 1958)

With Gildo Mahones

  • I'm Shooting High (Prestige, 1963)
  • The Great Gildo (Prestige, 1964)

With Herbie Mann

  • Just Wailin' (Prestige, 1958)

With Jack McDuff

  • Screamin' (Prestige, 1962)
  • Somethin' Slick! (Prestige, 1963)
  • Steppin' Out (Prestige, 1961–66 [1969])

With Gary McFarland

  • The Jazz Version of "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (Verve, 1962)
  • Soft Samba (Verve, 1963)
  • The In Sound (Verve, 1965)

With Jimmy McGriff

  • The Big Band (Solid State, 1966)

With Wes Montgomery

  • Fusion! Wes Montgomery with Strings (Riverside, 1963)

With Frank Morgan

  • Listen to the Dawn (Antilles, 1993)

With Maria Muldaur

  • Sweet Harmony (Reprise, 1976)

With Dave Pike

  • Bossa Nova Carnival (New Jazz, 1962)
  • Times out of Mind (Muse, 1975)

With Billie Poole

  • Confessin' the Blues! (Riverside, 1963)

With The Prestige All Stars

  • Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors (Prestige, 1957)

With Ike Quebec

  • Soul Samba (Blue Note, 1962)

With Jerome Richardson

  • Midnight Oil (New Jazz, 1958)

With Freddie Roach

  • Down to Earth (Blue Note, 1962)
  • Mo' Greens Please (Blue Note, 1963)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Alfie (Impulse! 1966)

With Charlie Rouse

  • Bossa Nova Bacchanal (Blue Note, 1962)

With Vanessa Rubin

  • I'm Glad There Is You: A Tribute to Carmen McRae (Novus, 1994)

With A. K. Salim

  • Stable Mates (Savoy, 1957)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • Once a Thief and Other Themes (Verve, 1965)

With Carol Sloane

  • Love You Madly (Contemporary, 1988)

With Jimmy Smith

  • Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 1 (Blue Note, 1957)
  • Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 2 (Blue Note, 1957)
  • Confirmation (Blue Note, 1958 [1979])
  • House Party (Blue Note, 1958)
  • Softly as a Summer Breeze (Blue Note, 1958)
  • Six Views of the Blues (Blue Note, 1958 [1999])
  • The Sermon! (Blue Note, 1959)
  • Home Cookin' (Blue Note, 1960)
  • Midnight Special (Blue Note, 1961)
  • Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note, 1963)
  • Any Number Can Win (Verve, 1963)
  • The Cat (Verve, 1964)
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Verve, 1964)
  • Christmas '64 (Verve, 1964)
  • Monster (Verve, 1965)
  • Organ Grinder Swing (Verve, 1965)
  • Got My Mojo Workin' (Verve, 1965)
  • Hootchie Coochie Man (Verve, 1966)
  • Second Coming (Mojo, 1980)
  • Keep On Comin' (Elektra, 1983)
  • Go For Whatcha Know (Blue Note, 1986)
  • Fourmost (Milestone, 1991)
  • The Master (Blue Note, 1994)

With Dakota Staton

  • Time to Swing (Capitol, 1959)

With Sylvia Syms

  • Sylvia Is! (Prestige, 1965)
  • Then Along Came Bill: A Tribute to Bill Evans (DRG, 1989)

With Ed Thigpen

  • Out of the Storm (Verve, 1966)

With Cal Tjader

  • Warm Wave (Verve, 1964)
  • Soul Sauce (Verve, 1965)

With Stanley Turrentine

  • Jubilee Shout!!! (Blue Note, 1962)
  • Hustlin' (Blue Note, 1964)
  • Joyride (Blue Note, 1965)
  • The Look of Love (Blue Note, 1968)
  • Always Something There (Blue Note, 1968)
  • The Sugar Man (CTI, 1971)

With Dinah Washington

  • What a Diff'rence a Day Makes! (Mercury, 1959)

With Doug Watkins

  • Watkins at Large (Transition, 1956)

With Frank Wess

  • North, South, East...Wess (Savoy, 1956)
  • Opus in Swing (Savoy, 1956)

With Randy Weston

  • Uhuru Afrika (Roulette, 1960)

With Joe Williams

  • Jump for Joy (RCA Victor, 1963)
  • Me and the Blues (RCA Victor, 1964)

With Kai Winding

  • Soul Surfin' (Verve, 1963)
  • Rainy Day (Verve, 1965)
  • More Brass (Verve, 1966)

With Jimmy Witherspoon

  • Baby, Baby, Baby (Prestige, 1963)
  • Blue Spoon (Prestige, 1964)

With Leo Wright

  • Suddenly the Blues (Atlantic, 1962)
  • Soul Talk (Vortext, 1963 [1970])

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