"The Poll Winners" Is A Winner!
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 03/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne were the people's choice on their instruments in the late 1950s. Since they had recorded together in the past (with a variety of frontmen), it was only natural that they try to reap the financial rewards of their popularity by forming the Poll Winners Trio. Their first album, "The Poll Winners," is the perfect blend of jazz ear-candy and passionate, professional playing. With the exception of Kessel's "Minor Mood," this March 1957 session is an all standard affair, and they are all rendered beautifully, from "Satin Doll" to "On Green Dolphin Street." Simply put, "Poll Winners" is a winner."
The Poll Winners!!!
Chris Covais | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love jazz! And it is albums like this that keep me coming back for more. Obviously, all three men that did the recording date for this album, previously won a downbeat jazz musicians poll.
One of jazz's most swinging, harmonic, creative, and lyrical guitarists of all time. Though over-shadowed by the more famous and successful guitarists, Kessel could hold his own; turning out great session dates, and playing great swinging jazz.
Ray Brown's bass lines are some of the most fluent bass lines in all jazz. He has showed up on a wide variety of jazz recordings. Musicians couldn't get enough of Brown. I love his solos on this cd. He seems to blend perfectly with Kessel's smooth melodic approach.
Shelly has been called one of the most melodic drummers in jazz. I happen to agree with that statement. Just listen to his playing on Jordu. He communicates with Kessel as if he was a front horn man. The breaks with Kessel, Brown, and Manne are great. Listen to his snare drum breaks, with the snare off, and his use of his bare hands on the drum itself. Truely a musical drummer!
Barney Kessel has been an important influence on my guitar playing. And so has Manne, on my drumming. And out of the few that always made me want to play bass, (Unfortunately I never have gotten the chance.) Ray Brown is one of them.
One of the classics on this album, is On Green Dolphin Street. It features more of Manne's melodic drumming, and some savvy guitar technique by Kessel. The three-som does a great job at the standard, Satin Doll.
This is a great album! I will certainly look into more of The Poll Winners' albums. It's a shame they didn't get the recognition they deserve, but at least they are remastered for us in the 'younger generation' to appreciate.