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date: 15 September 2019

Kessel, Barney locked

  • Barry Kernfeld


(b Muskogee, OK, Oct 17, 1923; d San Diego, CA, May 6, 2004). American jazz guitarist. He played with Chico Marx (1943) and performed in the short film Jammin’ the Blues (1944) before attracting attention in several big bands, including Artie Shaw’s (1945). Later he became a freelance studio guitarist in Los Angeles, although he interrupted this work for a lengthy tour with Oscar Peterson’s trio (1952–3), various recordings for the Verve and Contemporary labels, and club engagements with his own combos (early 1960s). In 1969, following a successful European tour, he shifted his focus away from studio work. From the early 1970s until he suffered a stroke in 1992 he performed in clubs and concerts, often with the jazz guitarists Charlie Byrd and Herb Ellis in the group Great Guitars. He also led workshops, made jazz recordings, and toured internationally. Although Kessel possessed the smooth tone and immaculate technique required of a studio musician, he improvised swinging, infectious jazz melodies. He published instruction manuals, including ...

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