Saturday, July 9, 2016

Barney Kessel - To Swing or Not to Swing

Guitarist Barney Kessel's string of recordings for Contemporary in the 1950s included some of the finest work of his career. The unusual repertoire on this set — which includes "Louisiana," "Indiana," and "12th Street Rag," along with four Kessel originals and more usual standards — would by itself make this bop/cool set noteworthy. Add to that a very interesting lineup of players (trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, Georgie Auld or Bill Perkins on tenor, pianist Jimmy Rowles, the rhythm guitar of Al Hendrickson, bassist Red Mitchell, and Shelly Manne or Irv Cottler on drums) and some excellent showcases for Kessel, and the overall result is a CD highly recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Barney Kessel
To Swing or Not to Swing
(Barney Kessel, vol. 3)


1 Begin the Blues (Kessel)  4:29
2 Louisiana* (Johnson, Razaf, Schafer)  3:57
3 Happy Feeling (Kessel)  3:58
4 Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:24
5 Wail Street (Kessel)  4:25
6 (Back Home Again In) Indiana* (Hanley, MacDonald)  3:13
7 Moten Swing* (Moten, Moten)  3:58
8 Midnight Sun (Burke, Hampton, Mercer)  3:10
9 Contemporary Blues (Kessel)  4:09
10 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh)  2:58
11 Twelfth Street Rag* (Bowman)  2:55


Barney Kessel - g
Harry "Sweet" Edison - tp
Georgie Auld* or Bill Perkins - ts
Jimmy Rowles - p
Al Hendrickson - rht. g
Red Mitchell - b
Irv Cottler* or Shelly Manne - dr

Recorded in Los Angeles ; March 28 & July 26*, 1955.


justjack said...

Major, major thanks. Barney is cool. I first knew his name from lists of studio musicians for Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. It was only much later on that I started noticing his name on jazz records. He was one seriously busy guy, huh.

justjack said...

I've been listening a lot to this one and I wanted to get back to you and thank you again; this is primo jazz. Chunk chunk chunk rhythm. And Sweets Edison blowing his brains out in that tight range of his. I love this one.

hulaboy said...

Many thanks - Sweets rules.

cvllos said...

Mel, once more, congratulations for your wonderful job! These covers, highly defined are gorgeous! Barney kessell, Lennie Niehaus, wow!

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you Mel for more outstanding shares!

Prof. Yaffle said...

Thank you very much

Albertito Jazz said...

Good News! Melanchthon is come back!
Thanks and thanks! Today I'm happy again!

123 said...

Any more Georgie Auld album?I like the way he played.Thanks.

Melanchthon said...

francisco santos said...


Peter said...

Dear Melanchton,

thank you very much for sharing this one.

deGallo said...

I have it but EVERYone needs it :) Thanks

Anonymous said...

Aw cool is Mr. Kessel, thanks a lot MM!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

AmyBRAINS said...

A very nice upgrade to me.
Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

Grover Gardner said...

Terrific, thanks. Kessel's recording dates are consistently great!

Kovina Kris said...

Another nice upgrade. Thank you!