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Posts: 289
Reply with quote  #1 
Here's Barney Kessel in the 1980s on some guitar related topics. Amusing stuff:

I was talking with Herb Ellis about this: any time a good, new jazz guitar player comes on the scene, ultimately it's good for me. It's bad for me if more and more terrible guitar players become popular. When something good appears, that involves tuning up, playing in tune, with good time and good harmonies, then it also helps me, because it shows that there's an acceptance of that. And whoever that person is, if he is extremely popular, he cannot be in all places at once; so there's room for me to be where he can't be.

I knew John Hammond, and that he had discovered Mary Lou Williams and, of course, he'd done a lot for Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Charlie Christian, Billie Holiday he's really made the people aware of a lot of fine talent. He also brought Bob Dylan into public awareness and I tried to find out what was the redeeming factor there. He can't sing, he can't play guitar, he can't play the harmonica; his melodies are very, very primitive, bordering on the Neanderthal. Well, trying to look at it objectively the redeeming elements, and the only ones, are the words to his songs, that had a message for the people of his age and his time. But since I'm not his age, his words have no meaning for me. They did not affect me in any way. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, there were no redeeming qualities but I can see why he was accepted by a lot of people.

Dan Sawyer, friend of Ted's.

Posts: 63
Reply with quote  #2 

Reading about Barney brought back some nice memories.  Ted and I would often talk about jazz greats and Barney's name would ALWAYS be in the category of swing.  Barney could swing and always played with such great energy.

I moved to LA to study with Joe Pass, but he was on the road a lot.  Looking for another great player that would teach.  I was fortunate to find Barney. He was such a great guy.  He changed my life and career. 

At my first lesson, I opened up the case to my my beloved Gibson Barney Kessel Custom, and Barney's first words to me were, "I'm sorry about that!".......My introduction.  He asked what I wanted to do with guitar and my career.  I was so confused; I had never given that any thought.  So, I responded that I guess that I wanted to play jazz like him.  And, he replied, "Oh, no you don't; you want to play like Wes Montgomery."


Posts: 323
Reply with quote  #3 

I guess that's why we have never heard Barney play a Dylan tune on his Gibson signature model ... or on any guitar!  But, don't think twice, Lenny has got that covered! 

Speaking of endorsements, check out Barney's '58 Kay signature model.


Attached Images
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jpeg 2KBKHS.JPG (338.37 KB, 13 views)
jpeg 3KBKCat.JPG (126.61 KB, 9 views)

STAZZ MUSIC Productions
Specializing in fingerstyle guitar transcription and engraving.

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