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Blues - The Common Ground: Vme
Kenny Burrell
Blues - The Common Ground: Vme
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

The reissue of Kenny Burrell's 1968 Blues: The Common Ground on CD is most welcome, for it is one of the supremely dependable guitarist's finest albums. Backed for the most part by an all-star orchestra reveling in Don Seb...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Kenny Burrell
Title: Blues - The Common Ground: Vme
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Umvd Labels
Original Release Date: 1/1/1967
Re-Release Date: 10/9/2001
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731458910121, 0731458910121

The reissue of Kenny Burrell's 1968 Blues: The Common Ground on CD is most welcome, for it is one of the supremely dependable guitarist's finest albums. Backed for the most part by an all-star orchestra reveling in Don Sebesky's imaginative arrangements, Burrell fashions a series of outstanding performances as accessible as they are penetrating, thus fully bearing out the record's titular claim. Particular felicities include "Everydays", "Burning Spear," and the title track. Also here are two superb quartet cuts with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Grady Tate and an exquisite solo exploration of "Were You There?". No extra tracks or takes were discovered, but the album is richly rewarding from start to finish, its varied and durable pleasures belying the modest playing time. Now Verve should reissue the equally distinguished Night Song that Burrell made shortly afterward. --Richard Palmer

CD Reviews

More Gold from Verve's Vaults
Tom Schusterbauer | West Bloomfield, Michigan United States | 12/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Start with that glorious "Midnight Blue" guitar of Kenny Burrell. Then throw in this rhythm section: Herbie Hancock on piano; Ron Carter on bass; Grady Tate on drums. A jazz all-star line-up.But wait--toss in six trumpets (including Thad Jones), six trombones (including Jimmy Cleveland and Al Watrous), two tubas, and Jerome Richardson on woodwinds and reeds.What do you have? Operatic overload? A musical mish-mash? No--what you have is one astonishing cd. The common ground, of course, is the blues--and somehow all these musicians, all these disparate instruments, meet successfully on this common ground.Burrell's guitar is never overshadowed by all the instrumentation. And all those accompaniests know precisely how to contribute to this boundary-stretching set. Never heard the blues this way? Well, that doesn't mean it's not the blues. The boys in the band moan, swing, rise through the registers, and Burrell's guitar floats and burns through it all.Arranger Don Sebesky's charts are always under control but wildly innovative. From track to track, you just don't know what to expect. But expect the kind of surprises that make you want to replay each cut before you move on to the next.This is an in-car cd. Or someplace where you won't allow anything to divert your attention. There's so much to hear, so much to amaze, so much to remind you that the blues is not this instrument or that instrument, not this player or that player, not always mean and lowdown.The blues is a state of mind, a state of heart. You can get to the blues from all sorts of different directions. The players here do just that. They get to the blues, create the blues, and find that common ground.F.Y.I.--this cd lists at $ and weighs in at only about 35 minutes. It's a straight set--no alternate takes, no false starts. So, a lot of your dollars per minute. That ratio stopped me from buying the cd the first couple of times I found it on-line or in music stores. Now, my only regret is that I didn't pick it up the first time I saw it. This is what jazz is supposed to be--new, exploratory, a different direction. Abstract? Not at all--this is as solid as the red clay of Georgia. Where else can you get all of that for $?"
Not my kind of blues
Beverly Praiswater | 10/25/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"after buying kenny burrells midnight blue and blue bash and his playing on jimmy smith "six views of the blues" i thought this was a sure hit. i should have read the credits because i'am not a big fan of horns (trombones,reeds, etc) and this was not the bluesy laid back blues i was expecting. saying that, i was still marveled at this mans guitar playing. i like him more on the trio combos with the b-3."
Beverly Praiswater | 09/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kenny Burrell is truly a jazz legend whose career spans (count them) 6 decades. And he is still recording! As one of the inspirations and predecessors to many guitar greats, he brings depth, soul, and sophistication to all of his songs. This cd is a collection of his blues interpretations. Nothing in his career will ever be the same after this venture! Yes, it IS that awesome, Kenny fans!

Recorded in 1968, this is perfection from a mature artist at his peak. "Everydays" is gorgeous and so cool! Kenny breaks into a swingin' frenzy! "Angel Eyes" is a beauty! Nobody instrumentally has put such finesse on this cut. "The Common Ground" swings as one of the sounds from the 60's. Kenny's guitar on "Wonder Why" is perfectly beautiful and the orchestrations add depth and pathos. "Soulful Brothers" has a texture that is rich but yet the sound is funky. "See See Rider" has mature 60's orchestrations backing up Kenny's loose rendition. "Sausalito Nights" is a masterpiece.

Accompanied by other legends in jazz, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter, it doesn't get any better than this! Backed up by a wide range of instruments: trombone, trumpet, tuba, various woodwinds, and reeds, and more makes the sound complete. Keeping Kenny out in front, it is the perfect instrumental backup.

Kenny Burrell has a rich, soulful history with his guitar. This cd is just one of many places that he proved that he is an artist for all instrumental jazz lovers who appreciate the finer sounds. Never boring, Kenny can do it all!"