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Barney Kessel: Feeling Free

LP: Contemporary S-7618
CD: Contemporary OJC 1043

Tracks & Composers
1 Moving Up (Kessel)
2 Blue Grass (Kessel)
3 This Guy's in Love With You (Bacharach, David)
4 Blues up, Down and All Around (Kessel)
5 The Sound of Silence (Simon)
6 Two Note Samba (Kessel)

Barney Kessel (g); Bobby Hutcherson (vib); Chuck Domanico (b); Elvin Jones (d)

Recording Date & Location
13 Feb 1969, Los Angeles, CA

Feeling Free is a desert island record. The quartet swings so hard it will astound you. Like the title says, they play with a wonderful sense of abandon, a shout-it-out joy that's at the heart so much of the best jazz. Each player makes a masterful contribution, but I have to make special mention of Elvin Jones. His playing is always incredible, but here he's absolutely on fire! Listen to "Blues up, Down and All Around," the highlight of the album. Sheesh! It sounds like Elvin's going to bring down the house.

A couple titles might raise your eyebrows. Sure, "This Guy's In Love With You" is a a little cheesy. But they play it perfectly. By the end you'll be convinced. The only slight misstep on the disc is their version of "The Sounds of Silence." Even so, the band uses the familiar melody only as a launch pad for more stellar improvisations.

This is one of the best CD I discovered as I put this site together and began collecting all of Hutcherson's work. It's that good.


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Original text copyright Scott Mortensen 2006

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