May 14, 2017

Barney Kessel is today’s entry in BBR guitar week. Barney was truly an Okie from Muskogee, but he made his mark in L.A. playing for soundtracks to movies and numerous sessions with the Wrecking Crew.  Before that he had an unfairly forgotten and stunning career as a jazz guitarist who won “best guitarist” for more than a decade in polls by Downbeat, Esquire and Playboy.  He was proud of those wins too, and he joined forces with BBR bass week star Ray Brown and Shelly Manne to record a series of albums  titled “Poll Winners”.  One of Barney’s greatest accomplishments was playing in Oscar Peterson’s trio when Oscar played so fast almost no guitarist could keep up.  He also started the Kay guitar company and designed and manufactured his own line of guitars. Barney, from now on you can always be called a star of BBR guitar week. Well earned.

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