- Released: October 5, 2010
- Label: Masterworks
Down Beat - p.643.5 stars out of 5
-- "Burrell's blues-drenched, elegantly understated guitar takes center nearly throughout, serving up nice grooves on 'Love Is The Answer'..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/02, p.125
"...A moody, string-adorned riff-fest from '71..."
- 1.Be Yourself
- 2.Love is the Answer
- 3.Do What You Gotta Do
- 4.A Child is Born
- 5.God Bless the Child
- 6.Ballad of the Sad Young Men
- 7.Lost In the Stars
- 8.Child is Born [Alternate Take], A - (alternate take)
Personnel: Kenny Burrell (guitar); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Hubert Laws (flute); Seymour Barab, Charles McCracken, George Ricci, Lucien Schmit, Alan Shulman (cello); Hugh Lawson, Richard Wyands (acoustic & electric pianos); Ron Carter (bass); Billy Cobham (drums); Ray Barretto, Airto Moreira (percussion).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Didier C. Deutsch.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 28 and May 11 & 25, 1971. Includes liner notes by Didier C. Deutsch.
Digitally remastered by Tim Geelan (CBS Studios, New York, New York).
Personnel: Kenny Burrell (guitar); Lucien Schmit, Seymour Barab, Charles McCracken , Alan Shulman, George Ricci (cello); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Hugh Lawson, Richard Wyands (piano, electric piano); Billy Cobham (drums); Ray Barretto (percussion).
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios (04/1971-05/1971).
Arranger: Don Sebesky.
Kenny Burrell's guitaristry is well-documented in his years with Oscar Peterson and on his first dates as a leader on the Blue Note label, but God Bless the Child, his only date for CTI in 1971, is an under-heard masterpiece in his catalog. Burrell's band for the set includes bassist Ron Carter, percussionist Ray Barretto, Richard Wyands on piano, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and drummer Billy Cobham. CTI's house arranger, Don Sebesky, assembled and conducted the strings in a manner that stands strangely and beautifully apart from his other work on the label. Sebesky understood Burrell's understated approach to playing guitar. Burrell didn't belong with the fusioneers, but he could groove better than any of them. Sebesky built a moody, atmospheric soundscape behind him, one that was as impressionistic as it was illuminating of a player who could dig in and chop it up -- as he does on his own composition "Love Is the Answer" and "Do What You Gotta Do" -- and stroke it smooth and mellow as on the title track, the truly sublime "Be Yourself," and Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born." The Legacy CD remaster also includes the only three outtakes from the session, an alternate of the Jones tune, and two brief but gorgeous solos on "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and on Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars." This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent. ~ Thom Jurek