• Barney Kessel needs help

    From brkmahoney@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Nina Taborin on Tue Jan 1 18:15:47 2019
    On Friday, May 24, 2002 at 6:06:01 PM UTC-4, Nina Taborin wrote:
    Why not buy one less CD this week and send the money to Barney Kessel
    who has made such an invaluable contribution to jazz music yet can't
    pay his medical bills?


    May 23, 2002

    Attention All Media

    Legendary jazz guitarist, Barney Kessel needs your help. He was
    with terminal brain cancer in November 2001. He had surgery, Gamma
    radiation and therapy to rehabilitate him enough so he could come home
    late January 2002. The radiation slowed the growth of the very
    non-operable tumor (anaplastic astrocytoma). Barney requires 24 hour
    care and therapy. He is almost blind, but he is able to still talk a
    on the phone and receives visitors and enjoys listening to music.
    has no life insurance. He has not worked in over ten years due to a
    stroke. His Social Security covers his rent. His wife, Phyllis works
    time and her entire salary goes towards Barney's care.

    Please send all checks to:

    4445 North Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92116-3940

    Please note: ALL monies are going directly to the source who needs it
    like other charities), going directly to Barney and Phyllis,

    Barney Kessel is a legend in the history of jazz, one of the most
    voices ever to play the guitar. During a 1991 engagement at New York's venerable Village Vanguard, the New York Post wrote, he's "one of the
    guitarists in jazz" and the New York Times referred to him as "a
    master of

    Critic Leonard Feather called him "as lyrical a guitarist as we have
    jazz...a rhythmic natural who can outswing any man in the house."
    Andre Previn?s praises for him are that "he has a staggering amount of technique, a healthy respect for the traditional, a ceaseless
    curiosity for
    the experimental, and an admirable and lovely harmonic sense." Nat
    says simply, he?s "one of the most extraordinarily consistent and
    emotionally huge improvisers of our era."

    Kessel, known for his brilliant harmonic improvisation, bluesy and hard-driving earthy style, is one of the swingingest players in jazz.
    master at pulling every last bit of emotion from a beautiful ballad,
    and at
    the other extreme setting an audience on fire with an up-tempo jazz
    standard, he also delighted audiences with his natural talent for
    comedy. A stroke in May of 1992 left him unable to play but he is

    A composer and arranger (the jazz classic Swedish Pastry is perhaps
    best known tune), he was also a popular teacher giving seminars and
    workshops all over the world. Kessel originated the idea of the guitar
    used instead of a piano as the predominate voice of a jazz trio with
    and drums. His five history-making Poll Winners albums, with Shelly
    on drums and Ray Brown on bass, set the tone for all the guitar
    records that
    came after them.

    Kessel was also the first one to use the guitar to sound like a full
    orchestra. His landmark 1955 recording with Julie London, Julie is Her
    and its memorable Cry Me a River is an early example of his ability
    to make
    arrangements which bring out full orchestral tonal colors with only a
    bass and electric guitar. He was also the first in modern jazz to use
    flute and oboe on his recordings. Author of the book,The Guitar, he
    has made
    three videos explaining improvisation in detail for Rumark Video.

    Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on October l7, l923, Kessel has played
    recorded with a long list of jazz greats including Lester Young,
    Parker, Billie Holiday, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Ben Webster and Sonny Rollins. Charlie Christian heard of
    and came to see him play in Oklahoma City, and to play with him, when
    was only l6.

    From the early l940s Kessel played and recorded with the big bands of
    Marx (1942-43), Artie Shaw (1944-45), Benny Goodman (1947, 1958) and
    Barnet (1945,1946 and 1947). He was one of the original members of
    Peterson's Trio in l952-53. A winner of all the major jazz polls
    Downbeat, Metronome, Melody Maker and Playboy for several years, he
    was the
    most popular jazz guitarist of the 1950s and 1960s. He worked for
    almost 40
    years in Hollywood as an arranger and freelance musician for radio,
    of films and TV shows such as Steve Allen and Hollywood Palace, and
    original music for many commercials including Der Wiener Schnitzel and
    Krispies. He performed and recorded with such diverse talents as Fred Astaire, Lawrence Welk, the Beach Boys, Barbara Streisand, Liberace,
    Presley, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Gene
    Sonny and Cher and the Righteous Brothers. He was on many of Phil
    pop records and also was an A&R man for Verve Records where he
    Ricky Nelson?s first big hit and produced the records Woody Herman
    sang on.

    He was featured in the l944 award-winning documentary filmJammin? the
    with Lester Young and other jazz greats, and as a member of Norman
    Jazz at the Philharmonic became well-known in Europe from the time of
    JATP 1952 tour. Kessel was a musical ambassador for the State
    during the Carter Administration and he played in the White House for
    Presidents Carter and Nixon.

    Successful 199l tours included the United States, Canada, Portugal,
    Italy, Germany, the British Isles and Japan. 199l also marked his
    into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame along with the late Chet Baker. In
    1992 prior to his stroke he got rave reviews playing in Australia, New Zealand and all across the United States. On May 26, 1992, Kessel
    suffered a
    severe stroke which ended his playing career. His memory was not
    and he keeps active in the music field.

    His recordings for Contemporary, Concord and many foreign labels, too numerous to mention, are collectors items today and an important part
    jazz history. He even composed and arranged a jazz version of the
    Carmen (1958) and recorded it featuring Andr?Previn on piano. The
    Kessel album to be recorded is the superb Red, Hot and Blues on Contemporary. He has Kenny Barron, Bobby Hutcherson, Rufus Reid and
    Riley playing his own compositions, standards and jazz classics.

    Kessel has been featured on television many times over the years,
    the Johnny Carson show. In 1995, Vestapol Videos released a one hour
    titled Barney Kessel Rare Performances,1962-1991 of TV performances, a British interview and his acceptance speech at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall
    Fame. Additional film clips of him are included in the Legends of Jazz
    Guitar I, II and III video series from Vestapol. New books of jazz photography in which he is included are Jazz Photographs of the
    Masters by
    Jacques Lowe, Artisan Books, New York, 1995 and a photo documentary by
    Esther Bubley, text by Hank O?Neal, of a 1950s Norman Granz recording session, titled Charlie Parker Jam Sessions, published in France by
    Filipacchi, 1995. It includes hundreds of photographs of Kessel,
    Parker, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster and other giants of jazz laughing, talking and playing.

    In 1994 Kessel was flown to Turin, Italy for a huge tribute concert
    since there have been various benefit concerts in England,Germany and
    Angeles honoring him. He was also a guest at Flip Phillips? 80th
    jazz party in Florida in 1995. At the July 1995 memorial concert for
    Records founder Carl Jefferson, Kessel walked out on stage (with a
    cane) for
    the first time since his stroke and took a bow. In May of 1996, Kessel
    flown to his home state and given an honorary doctoral degree by the University of Oklahoma for his lifetime contribution to music. For a gentleman who had only had formal schooling through the ninth grade,
    was a well-deserved and meaningful honor. At George Wein?s JVC Jazz
    in New York City, June 1997, Kessel was given a tribute concert by
    both the
    up and coming and old guard of the guitar world. At this concert
    walked on stage and spoke to an audience for the first time since his
    stroke. The September 1997 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine was
    entirely to Kessel, a collector?s item today. In October, 1998, Kessel celebrated his 75th birthday to accolades from around the world.

    The well-known European jazz critic Joachim Ernst Berendt has summed
    Kessel beautifully as "the most rhythmically vital guitarist in modern
    Barney Kessel resides in San Diego, California with his wife, writer
    Van Doren, senior editor of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine.

    Fantasy Records just released a new CD of a live performance in 1960
    by the
    Barney Kessel Quartet called Barney Kessel's Swingin' Party

    The well-known European jazz critic Joachim Berendt has summed up
    beautifully as "the most rhythmically vital guitarist in modern jazz".

    Happy New Year! I knew Barney had had a stroke but had no idea about the brain cancer thing Thanks for passing it on Some very interesting stuff about his early career which I didn't know

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