Down Beat - 9/01, pp.63-43.5 stars out of 5
- "...This fills the bill when it comes to class, taste and a bluesy, easygoing style..."
JazzTimes - 9/01, p.92
"...Laidback and eloquent..."
Personnel: Kenny Burrell (vocals, guitar); Onaje Allan Gumbs (keyboards); Rufus Reid (bass); Akira Tana (drums).
Recorded at Sound On Sound Studios, New York, New York on September 18 & 19, 2000. Includes liner notes by Jim Ferguson.
Personnel: Kenny Burrell (vocals, guitar); Onaje Allan Gumbs (keyboards); Akira Tana (drums).
Liner Note Author: Jim Ferguson .
Recording information: Sound on Sound, New York, NY (09/18/2000-09/19/2000).
Photographer: Bob Barry.
Kenny Burrell has long been a superb guitarist, and has continued to play his bluesy brand of hard bop through multiple changes in jazz styles. Lucky So and So finds him in a comfortable quartet setting, with keyboardist Onaje Allan Gumbs, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Akira Tana bopping their way through a lively traditional set. This disc also features something unfamiliar to even the Burrell fan: the guitarist sings four of the ten selections. The music begins with a relaxed groove on Ellington's "The Feeling of Jazz," then slides smoothly into a nice version of Walter Gross' "Tenderly." For the most part, the pacing and mood remain mellow throughout Lucky So and So, giving the album a late-night feel. There's a blues drenched "Bass Face," a Burrell original, and a lovely version of "In a Sentimental Mood." Burrell's guitar work is fluid as always, and special mention should also be made of Gumbs' piano work. He has a style that reminds one of the great pianists from the '50s, like Wynton Kelly or Red Garland. Call it a flourish of tastefully placed notes that impresses because of the feeling injected into it. The biggest surprise of this album, though, is Burrell's vocals on classics like "My Ship" and the title track. He has a warm delivery that may remind some of Mel Torm‚, brought forth in quiet confidence. Lucky So and So will sit comfortably beside other Burrell albums, and will please anyone who loves good guitar jazz. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.