Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romantic Guitar

I guess I am still on my "instrumentals" kick because, on a Saturday night, I found myself listening to Kenny Burrell's "Tenderly." This is just-released live album, from two intimate shows in California last year. It's a retrospective show, and there are spoken introductions on some of the numbers. And what a great crowd, they do not start clapping until he has played the very last note, so you can sense the energy of the whole night. He gives the impression that the song selections are random, going where the crowd takes him, and it's exhilaratingly good. I love his "Ellingtonia Medley," where he says he will start out with "Azure," and "I don't know where I will end."(He ends with "Come Sunday.) He reminisces playing in the studio with Lady Day, and her tribute to her with a trio of songs: "No More," "Don't Explain," and "But Beautiful." And the romantic, melancholy arrangements of "Why Did I Choose You," "My Foolish Heart," and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" are just that and achingly so. Imagine yourself in a smoky jazz club in the Village, with a glass of Scotch, watching a guitar master in action, because that's what this record feels like, a moment caught in time, so quintessentially something that can no longer be replicated. 

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