17 October 1923, Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA, d. 6 May 2004, San Diego, California, USA. After playing in various bands (including one led by Chico, the piano-playing Marx brother), Kessel began to establish a name for himself on the west coast. He appeared in the Norman Granz -produced short film Jammin The Blues (1944), then played in various big bands of the late swing era. From the mid-40s he was in great demand for studio work, jazz record sessions, club and concert dates, and on tours with Jazz At The Philharmonic. Among the artists with whom he performed and recorded over the following 20 years were Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday and Harry Edison. By the mid-60s he was one of the best-known and most-recorded guitarists in jazz. He continued to tour and record in groups and as a solo artist, most notably for the Contemporary Records label. In the early 70s, Kessel teamed up with Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd to perform as the group Great...
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