Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
God Bless the Child
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Guitarist Kenny Burrell's only recording for producer Creed Taylor's CTI label, God Bless the Child is in some ways a typical CTI affair. The hallmarks of the label's sound--slick production and lush orchestration--are on ... more »
Guitarist Kenny Burrell's only recording for producer Creed Taylor's CTI label, God Bless the Child is in some ways a typical CTI affair. The hallmarks of the label's sound--slick production and lush orchestration--are on full display, which means that much of the appeal of this album will be a matter of taste. Listeners who prefer Charlie Parker's albums with strings, for example, will love it, while those who thrill more to Bird's small-group efforts will probably be turned off. But even those in the latter group will have to admit that the magic on some of these tracks is undeniable--despite arranger Don Sebesky's sometimes superfluous string orchestrations, Burrell's guitar playing here is simply gorgeous. On "A Child Is Born" and a thrilling version of the title track, Burrell is in luminous form, building from beautiful chordal soloing to soulful single-note lines in a manner entirely his own. With an all-star band (including bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Cobham) providing an intensely swinging backdrop, Burrell shines even when the arrangements threaten to drown him out. The added bonus tracks on the CD reissue--an alternate take of "A Child Is Born" without the string orchestrations and two solo guitar performances--will further delight listeners who crave more of Burrell's guitar. --Ezra Gale
Mr. M. E. Foster | Richardson TX USA | 06/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this record in 1974 as I was just beginning to develop an understanding of and a love for jazz. All of the material on it is interesting and tastefully done, and, since it is a Creed Taylor production, it's as likely as not to have performances embellished with string arrangements. In general I'm not a huge fan of jazz with strings, but I have to make an exception in this case, and that is because of A Child Is Born / God Bless The Child. Although on both the CD and on the original LP, A Child Is Born / God Bless The Child is shown as two separate pieces, in fact it is a single continuous piece with a short section of semi-schmaltzy solo strings bridging the two together. When I first heard it, I liked the guitar parts, and I didn't quite get the string parts. But I quickly became very engrossed in it - so much so that I have not tired of listening to it in the thirty years since I first listened to it. The entire piece has a logic to it and it builds in a smouldering sort of emotional intensity from beginning to end with the middle section being like a breathing space. If there was nothing else on this CD it would still be worth the price."
Extravagant Jazz Collection
Beverly Praiswater | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kenny Burrell is one of the most prolific jazz guitarists to span about 6 decades. This recording produced by Creed Taylor, one of jazz's major successful commerical producers, in 1971 is Kenny's most elaborate work to date.
Classic jazz songs (each over 8 minutes long!) include "A Child Is Born" and "God Bless The Child" plus a Broadway tune "Lost In The Stars". In addition to these standards, there are original songs written by Kenny Burrell. On top of that, add a who's who of musical talents who join Kenny in this musical palette. These jazz legends include Ron Carter, Hubert Laws, Ray Barretto, and Freddie Hubbard to name a few. What an entourage!
The original lp released in 1971 had only 5 songs. A cd released in the late nineties included 7 songs. But this cd has an extra bonus cut, another version of "A Child Is Born" which is over 7 minutes long, remastered from the original tapes and includes 8 songs for your listening pleasure.
Some will say that this is not Kenny Burrell's "true sound" due to lush orchestrations and the addition of other very fine jazz legend talents. But a truly gifted artist is always improvising, always growing, and always discovering. In this collection, Kenny Burrell shows us a side of himself rarely seen. Always in the foreground of the accompanying musicians, this music is as much about Kenny Burrell as any other in his recording career. We are the lucky ones to have the opportunity to enjoy the experience."
Slow and Sweet
Lew Sibal | Philippines | 03/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't expect any fast music here - the sort that you would expect from other virtuosos like Benson (the early one). Nevertheless, this is a very sweet album that any jazz guitar fanatic should buy.
And even though it's just a "bonus track", I love the "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men"."