Friday, July 1, 2016

Kenny Burrell - God Bless the Child

Kenny Burrell's guitaristry is well-documented in his years with Oscar Peterson and on his first dates as a leader on the Blue Note label, but God Bless the Child, his only date for CTI in 1971, is an under-heard masterpiece in his catalog. Burrell's band for the set includes bassist Ron Carter, percussionist Ray Barretto, Richard Wyands on piano, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and drummer Billy Cobham. CTI's house arranger, Don Sebesky, assembled and conducted the strings in a manner that stands strangely and beautifully apart from his other work on the label. Sebesky understood Burrell's understated approach to playing guitar. Burrell didn't belong with the fusioneers, but he could groove better than any of them. Sebesky built a moody, atmospheric soundscape behind him, one that was as impressionistic as it was illuminating of a player who could dig in and chop it up — as he does on his own composition "Love Is the Answer" and "Do What You Gotta Do" — and stroke it smooth and mellow as on the title track, the truly sublime "Be Yourself," and Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born." The Legacy CD remaster also includes the only three outtakes from the session, an alternate of the Jones tune, and two brief but gorgeous solos on "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and on Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars." This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent.
Thom Jurek


Kenny Burrell
God Bless the Child


1 Be Yourself (Burrell)  5:54
2 Love Is the Answer (Burrell)  4:53
3 Do What You Gotta Do (Burrell)  9:33
A Child is Born (Jones)  8:43
5 God Bless the Child (Herzog, Holiday)  8:48
Ballad of the Sad Young Men [bonus track] (Landesman, Wolf)  2:17
7 Lost in the Stars [bonus track] (Anderson, Weill)  2:26

8 A Child is Born [alt. take] (Jones)  7:10


Kenny Burrell - g
Freddie Hubbard - tp
Hubert Laws - fl [# 3]
Hugh Lawson [# 2] or Richard Wyands - el p
Ron Carter - b
Billy Cobham - dr
Ray Barretto or Airto Moreira [# 2] - perc
Seymour Barab, Charles McCracken, George Ricci [solo on # 4), Lucien Schmit, Alan Shulman - cel

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; April 28 [# 1, 3, 5 & 8], and May 11 [# 4 & 7] & 25, 1971 [# 2 & 6].


roger said...

I have this album, but just wanted to say I've recently discovered your blog and it is amazing! So much great music and lots of emphasis on all the great guitar players. For those who don't have it, this is a great album! Don't be discouraged by the strings, etc. The arrangements are great and so is the guitar playing.

Kovina Kris said...

This is one I had been hoping to find and lo and behold here it is right under my nose. Thank you!

-Otto- said...

Thanks, Melanchthon! I wonder if anybody could possibly shed some light on the significance of the photograph on the cover?

Chris said...

Thanks Mel these CTI albums need new appreciation

Paul Brigg said...

Many thanks for this.

What drew me in was the claim that Sebesky's work here "stands strangely and beautifully apart from his other work on the label" --I always WANT to like Sebesky's work, but usually just end up feeling it's pretentious & ultimately shallow... Oh well, we shall see. I don't expect anything as brilliant as Gil Evans' work on GUITAR FORMS, but I look forward to being pleasantly surprised!

Ананасий Непитин said...

thanks a lot, dear Mel!
ez olweyz on top.

gents, for higher resolution you also may look here:
it's 24/192 taking 1.48 Gb of your HDD, but some people like it...

Paul Brigg said...

Sure enough, an excellent album.

You don't happen to have ODE TO 42nd STREET, do you?

Pepin said...

Muchas gracias. Después de leer los comentarios, tengo muchas ganas de oírlo. No lo conocía.

The Jackal said...

Dear Mel,

Another year evaporated, glad you are still out there with unrivalled taste and direction. Thanks for another year of education and expansion. Already a KB fan since the 70's such a big rap for this one, looking forward to it.

The Jackal




Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you.

AmyBRAINS said...


Scoredaddy said...

thank you

Kovina Kris said...

Yet another upgrade. Thank you!