This Historic Day In Music: A Jazz Guitarist Was Born

A Jazz guitarist was born on this day, July 31, in 1931.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, this Jazz guitarist started to play at the age of 12. He was inspired to play guitar, instead of tenor sax (his first love), after hearing a radio broadcast of the Benny Goodman band featuring Charlie Christian on electric guitar.

This Jazz guitarist made his recording debut in 1951 on a session led by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

This Jazz guitarist graduated in 1955 from Detroit’s Wayne State University with a BA in Music Theory & Composition.

This Jazz guitarist recorded his first album as the headliner in 1956. He has since recorded on somewhere around 100 albums, working with an endless roster of esteemed artists including saxophonist John Coltrane, organist Jimmy Smith, pianist Bill Evans and vocalist Billie Holiday.

This Jazz guitarist was Duke Ellington’s favorite guitarist.

This Jazz guitarist is Kenny Burrell.

Here’s a taste of Kenny Burrell’s Jazz guitar magic. It is the self-composed, title cut from his 1967 Blue Note LP, “Midnight Blue.”

Joining Kenny on the track are Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax; Major Holley, Jr., bass; Bill English, drums and Ray Barretto, conga.

Happy 81st Birthday, Kenny Burrell!

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