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MY GUITAR HEROES – KENNY BURRELL

MY GUITAR HEROES – KENNY BURRELL

dennis

December 19th, 2015

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MY GUITAR HEROES – KENNY BURRELL
I first heard Kenny Burrell on the radio playing one of his recordings called “Chitlins Con Carne”. My guitar playing friends and I all learned to play that song. I heard Kenny in person at the Minor Key on Dexter Avenue in Detroit and at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge on Livernois in Detroit. He was a funky guitarist who could also swing and play great jazz.

Burrell was born in Detroit, Michigan and he began playing guitar at the age of 12. He went on to study composition and theory with Louis Cabara and classical guitar with Joe Fava. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his recording debut as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet in 1951, followed by the “Rose of Tangier/Ground Round” single recorded under his own name at Fortune Records in Detroit.
Burrell toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956 with pianist Tommy Flanagan. Within months, Burrell had recorded his first album as leader for Blue Note and both he and Flanagan were sought-after as sidemen and studio musicians, performing with singers Tony Bennett and Lena Horne and recording with Billie Holiday, Jimmy Smith, Gene Ammons, and Kenny Dorham, among others.

I also went to Wayne State University. My undergraduate work was in Harmony and Theory and I received a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education. I also took guitar lessons from Joe Fava and later taught guitar at Fava Studios.

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