JFS #108 The Kenny Burrell Interview……



The urban legend of Detroit is only for those generations who were not alive during the time when that city epitomized Asphalt Canyon Blues.

What we see today with the Motor City is a shell of what it was when my guest today was growing up there. A thriving car industry driven by a migration of blacks from the south after mechanized equipment replaced plantation workers. This combination of family, church and education brought about a generation of local musicians like no other. Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Elvin Jones Donald Byrd and my guest.

My guests roots are in Detroit but that was only the beginning of his journey. While @ Wayne St. he started recording with the late great Dizzy Gillespie. This was followed by stints with Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith and Kenny Dorham. He has recorded as a leader on the heavy jazz and blues labels like Chess/Cadet, Pretige, Muse, Verve and Concord.

By the early 1970s on top of his busy playing schedule my guest started doing college seminars which included the first regular course held in the U. S. chronicling the music of composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington.

His unpretentious and practical style has helped galvanize knowledge and wisdom for a generation of up and coming musicians who did not experience the breakfast sessions in Atlantic City, Mean Ole' Frisco or music before idiomatic breakdown. As Duke said music, "it's either good or bad.

Today my guest is the leader of the music and ethnomusicology department at UCLA. Perseverance, preservation and whistling' while he works, kenny Burrell welcome to the JFS


In The Land of Giants





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