Kenneth Earl Burrell, 31 July 1931, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Coming from a family that encouraged music (all his three brothers were musicians), Burrell studied classical guitar for a mere 18 months (1952-53). In 1955 he received a Bachelor of Music degree from Detroits Wayne University. He played guitar with the Candy Johnson Sextet in 1948, with Count Belcher in 1949 and Tommy Barnett in 1950. In 1951, Dizzy Gillespie visited Detroit and they recorded together. In March 1955 he stood in for Herb Ellis in the Oscar Peterson trio and in 1957 saw work with Benny Goodman. Discovered by the prestigious Blue Note Records label, he formed an association with organist Jimmy Smith, and recorded with John Coltrane under the name The Cats.
Like all jazz guitarists of his generation Burrell was primarily influenced by Charlie Christian, but developed his own particular playing style. His series of 60s albums for Blue Note and Verve Records contain...
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