Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Albums» Barney Kessel: Modern Jazz Performances from Bizet's Carmen (1986)

Barney Kessel: Modern Jazz Perf. from Bizet's Carmen (1986)

Album review by Scott Yanow (~allmusic.com)
This is an unusual set that has been reissued on CD. During an era when many Broadway and movie scores were recorded in jazz settings (thanks in part to the success of Shelly Manne's best-selling My Fair Lady album), guitarist Barney Kessel chose to interpret nine melodies from Bizet's opera Carmen.

The guitarist is heard in three different settings: joined by five woodwinds and a rhythm section; with five jazz horns (including altoist Herb Geller and trumpeter Ray Linn) and a trio; and with vibraphonist Victor Feldman in a quintet. Kessel also wrote the arrangements, which pay tribute to the melodies while not being shy of swinging the themes. An interesting if not essential project.

Barney Kessel (1923 - 2004)
01. Swingin' the Toreador (5:52)
02. A Pad on the Edge of Town (6:46)
03. If You Dig Me (4:04)
04. Free As a Bird (5:00)
05. Viva El Toro! (3:15)
06. Flowersville (6:00)
07. Carmen's Cool (4:43)
08. Like, There's No Place Like... (3:59)
09. The Gypsy's Hip (3:56)

Barney Kessel - guitar
Harry Betts - trombone
Ray Linn - trumpet
Herb Geller - alto sax
Justin Gordon - flute, alto flute, tenor sax
Chuck Gentry - baritone sax
Buddy Collette - flue, alto flute, clarinet
Bill Smith - clarinet, bass clarinet
Jules Jacob - oboe, clarinet
Pete Terry - bass clarinet, bassoon
Andre Previn - piano
Joe Mondragon - bass
Shelly Manne - drums
Victor Feldman - vibraharp

Additional Info:
Produced by Lester Koenig
Recorded in Contemporary Records studio, Los Angeles; December 19 and 22, 1958
Sound by Roy DuNann
Digital remastering, 1986 - Phil De Lancie (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Cover drawing and design by Robert Guidi / Tri-Arts

Genre: Bop / Guitar
Label: Contemporary Records / OJC, Fantasy Inc.
Year: 1986

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