Barney Kessel

Barney Kessel

Barney Kessel (October 17, 1923 – May 6, 2004) was an American jazz guitarist born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. He began his career as a teenager touring with local dance bands before moving on to bands such as that led by Chico Marx. He quickly established himself as a key post-Charlie Christian jazz guitarist. In 1944 he participated in the Lester Young film "Jammin' the Blues" and in 1947 he recorded with Charlie Parker's New Stars on the "Relaxin' at Camarillo" session for Dial Records. He is featured on the compilation "Charlie Parker on Dial".Allmusic|id=10:difyxq8rldhe|label=Charlie Parker on Dial: The Complete Sessions] He was rated the #1 guitarist in Esquire, Downbeat, and Playboy magazine polls between 1947 and 1960cite web | url =| title = Barney Kessel |date=2004-06-12|accessdate=2008-07-16] .

Barney Kessel is known for his innovative work in the guitar trio setting. In the 1950s, he made a series of albums called "The Poll Winners" with Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. He was also responsible for the prominent guitar on Julie London's definitive recording of "Cry Me a River". Also from the 50s, his three "Kessell Plays Standards" volumes contain some of his most polished work.

Kessel was also a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown in the early 1950s. The guitar chair was called the hardest gig in show business since Peterson often liked to play at breakneck tempos. Herb Ellis took over from Kessel after a year or so. He also went on to play with Sonny Rollins in the late 50s and can be heard on Sonny Rollins' recordings of songs like "How High the Moon" (on the Freelance Years box set).

A "first call" guitarist at Columbia Pictures, during the 1960s Kessel became one of the most in-demand session guitarists in America, and is considered a key member of the group of first-call session musicians now usually known as The Wrecking Crew. In this capacity he played on hundreds of famous pop recordings including albums and singles by Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Monkees and many others. He appeared in an acting part playing a jazz guitarist named "Barney" in one episode of the "Perry Mason" TV show. He also wrote and arranged the source music, including a jazz version of "Here Comes the Bride", provided by the jazz combo that figured in the story.

In 1961 The Gibson Guitar Corporation introduced The Barney Kessel model guitar onto the market and continued to make them until 1973.

During the 1970s, Kessel presented his seminar 'The Effective Guitarist' in various locations around the world.

Kessel released several solo albums even late into his life.

Kessel died of a brain tumor in San Diego, California. He had been in poor health after suffering a stroke in 1992.



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  • Barney Kessel — est un guitariste de jazz américain, né le 17 octobre 1923 à Muskogee (Oklahoma) et mort le 6 mai 2004 à San Diego (Californie). Biographi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Barney Kessel — Portrait Barney Kessel bei einem Bühnenauftritt mit Archtop E Gitarre Barney Kessel (* 17. Oktober 1923 in Muskogee, Oklahoma; † 6. Mai 2004 in San Diego, Kalifornien[1]) war ein US amerikan …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KESSEL, BARNEY — (1923–2004), U.S. guitarist. Kessel grew up on the same Oklahoma plains that nurtured Charlie Christian, the first great electric guitarist, and it was to Christian that Kessel first looked as an influence. Kessel bought his first guitar at age… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Kessel (Familienname) — Kessel ist ein Familienname und der Name eines deutschen Adelsgeschlechts; siehe: Kessel (Adelsgeschlecht) Bekannte Namensträger Adolf Kessel (* 1957), deutscher Politiker (CDU) Barney Kessel (1923–2004), Jazz Gitarrist Dietrich Kessel (* 1941),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kessel — is the name of a number of towns in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany: * Kessel, Belgium * Kessel (Limburg), in the Netherlands * Kessel (North Brabant), in the Netherlands * Kessel (Nordrhein Westfalen), in GermanyKessel may also refer to: *… …   Wikipedia

  • Barney (Vorname) — Barney (Aussprache: engl. /ˈbɑr.nɛɪ/ oder ˈ/bɑ, eingedeutscht: /ˈbaɐ.ni/) ist eine englische Koseform des männlichen Vornamen Bernhard (Bernard, Barnard), Barnabas und Barnaby. Berühmte Träger des Namens Reale Personen Robert Barney Baker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kessel (homonymie) — Kessel Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Patronyme 2 Toponyme 2.1 Belgique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kessel — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Patronyme 2 Toponymes 2.1 Alle …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kessel — Trichter; Erdfall; Vulkantrichter; Krater; Caldera; Druckbehälter * * * Kes|sel [ kɛsl̩], der; s, : 1. a) sehr großer Topf, großes Metallgefäß zum Kochen: ein kupferner Kessel; im Kessel kocht Suppe. Zus.: Kaffeekess …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Kessel, Barney — ▪ 2005       American jazz musician (b. Oct. 17, 1923, Muskogee, Okla. d. May 6, 2004, San Diego, Calif.), was a pioneer electric guitarist in 1940s swing and bebop bands and the noted short film Jammin the Blues (1944); he brought his sparkling… …   Universalium

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