Full Name: Kenneth Earl Burrell

Description: Guitarist, USA

Known For: Albums include – Introducing Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1956)

Instruments: Guitar
Music Styles: Classical, Jazz

Location: United States of America

Date Born: 31st July 1931
Location Born: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Web Site: Jump up ^ “KENNY BURRELL, 1999

Other Links: See below:



Kenny Burrell

Kenneth Earl “Kenny” Burrell (born July 31, 1931) is an American jazz guitarist known for his collaborations with Jimmy Smith, including the 1965 Billboard Top Twenty hit album Organ Grinder Swing. He has cited jazz guitarists Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt as influences, along with blues musicians T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters. Burrell also serves as a professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Burrell was born in Detroit, Michigan to a musical family (both of his parents played instruments), and began playing guitar at the age of 12. He went on to study composition and theory with Louis Cabara and classical guitar with Joe Fava. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his recording debut as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet in 1951, followed by the “Rose of Tangier/Ground Round” single recorded under his own name at Fortune Records in Detroit. While at university, Burrell founded the New World Music Society collective with fellow Detroit musicians Pepper Adams, Donald Byrd, Elvin Jones, and Yusef Lateef.

Burrell toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956 with pianist Tommy Flanagan. Within months, Burrell had recorded his first album as leader for Blue Note and both he and Flanagan were sought-after as sidemen and studio musicians, performing with singers Tony Bennett and Lena Horne and recording with Billie Holiday, Jimmy Smith, Gene Ammons, and Kenny Dorham, among others. From 1957 to 1959, Burrell occupied the former chair of Charlie Christian in Benny Goodman’s band. Since his New York debut Burrell has had a prolific recording career, and critics have cited The Cats with John Coltrane in 1957, Midnight Blue with Stanley Turrentine in 1963, and Guitar Forms with arranger Gil Evans in 1965 as particular highlights.

In 1978, he began teaching a course at UCLA called “Ellingtonia,” examining the life and accomplishments of Duke Ellington. Although the two never collaborated directly, Ellington called Burrell his “favorite guitarist”, and Burrell has recorded a number of tributes to and interpretations of Ellington’s works. Since 1996, Burrell has served as Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA, mentoring such notable alumni as Gretchen Parlato and Kamasi Washington.

His influences as a guitar player include Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Wes Montgomery. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his debut recording as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet in 1951.

He toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956.

A consummate sideman, Burrell recorded with a wide range of prominent musicians. He also led his own groups since 1951 and recorded many well received albums. In the 1970s he began leading seminars about music, particularly Duke Ellington’s. As of 2007, Burrell has served as Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA, mentoring such notable alumni as Gretchen Parlato and Kalil Wilson.

Burrell teaches a course entitled “Ellingtonia”, examining the life and accomplishments of Duke Ellington.


As leader

Introducing Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1956)
Kenny Burrell Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1956)
Swingin’ (Blue Note, 1956)
All Night Long (Prestige, 1956)
All Day Long (Prestige, 1957)
Earthy (Prestige, 1957)
Kenny Burrell (Prestige, 1957)
2 Guitars (Prestige, 1957) – with Jimmy Raney
K. B. Blues (Blue Note, 1957)
Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane (Prestige, 1958) – with John Coltrane
Blue Lights Volume 1 (Blue Note, 1958)
Blue Lights Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1958)
On View at the Five Spot Cafe (Blue Note, 1959)
A Night at the Vanguard (Argo, 1959)
Weaver of Dreams (Columbia, 1960–61)
Bluesin’ Around (Columbia, 1961-62 [1983])
Bluesy Burrell (Moodsville, 1962)
Midnight Blue (Blue Note, 1963)
Crash! (Prestige, 1963) – with Jack McDuff
Lotsa Bossa Nova! (Kapp, 1963)
Blue Bash! (Verve, 1963) – with Jimmy Smith
Travelin’ Light (Prestige, 1964) – with Shirley Scott
Soul Call (Prestige, 1964)
Freedom (Blue Note, 1963-64 [1980])
Guitar Forms (Verve, 1965)
The Tender Gender (Cadet, 1966)
Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (Cadet, 1966)
A Generation Ago Today (Verve, 1966–67)
Ode to 52nd Street (Cadet, 1967)
Blues – The Common Ground (Verve, 1967–68)
Night Song (Verve, 1968–69)
Asphalt Canyon Suite (Verve, 1969)
God Bless the Child (CTI, 1971)
‘Round Midnight (Fantasy, 1972)
Both Feet on the Ground (Fantasy, 1973)
Up the Street, ‘Round the Corner, Down the Block (Fantasy, 1974)
Stormy Monday (Fantasy, 1974 [1978])
Sky Street (Fantasy, 1974)
Ellington Is Forever (Fantasy, 1975)
Ellington Is Forever Volume Two (Fantasy, 1975 [1977])
Tin Tin Deo (Concord Jazz, 1977)
Handcrafted (Muse, 1978)
When Lights Are Low (Concord, 1978)
Live at the Village Vanguard (Muse, 1978)
In New York (Muse, 1978)
Moon and Sand (Concord, 1979)
Heretige (Audio Source/Voss, 1980)
Listen to the Dawn (Muse, 1980)
Groovin’ High (Muse, 1981)
Ellington à la Carte (Muse, 1983)
À la Carte (Muse, 1983)
Togethering (Blue Note, 1985) – with Grover Washington, Jr.
Generation (Blue Note, 1986)
Pieces of Blue and the Blues (Blue Note, 1986 [1988])
Guiding Spirit (Contemporary, 1989)
Sunup to Sundown (Contemporary, 1991)
Then Along Came Kenny (Evidence, 1993)
Lotus Blossom (Concord, 1995)
Love Is the Answer, featuring The Boys Choir of Harlem (Concord Concerto, 1998)
Lucky So and So (Concord Jazz, 2001)
Blue Muse (Concord Jazz, 2003)
75th Birthday Bash Live! (Blue Note, 2007)
Be Yourself: Live at Dizzy’s (Highnote, 2010)
Tenderly (Highnote, 2011)
Special Requests (and Other Favorites) (Highnote, 2013)

12-15-78 (32 Jazz, 1999) – compiles Live at the Village Vanguard and In New York
Introducing Kenny Burrell: The First Blue Note Sessions (Blue Note, 2000) – compiles Introducing Kenny Burrell, Kenny Burrell Volume 2 and K. B. Blues

As sideman
Jazzmen of Detroit with Tommy Flanagan, Pepper Adams, Paul Chambers, Kenny Clarke (1956; Savoy Records)

With Nat Adderly
Little Big Horn (Riverside, 1963)

With Mose Allison
Ever Since the World Ended (Blue Note, 1987)

With Gene Ammons
Funky (Prestige, 1956)
Jammin’ in Hi Fi with Gene Ammons (Prestige, 1957)
Bad! Bossa Nova (Prestige, 1962)

With Ernestine Anderson
My Kinda Swing (Mercury, 1960)

With Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong and His Friends (Flying Dutchman, 1970)

With Sil Austin and Red Prysock
Battle Royale (Mercury, 1959)

With Chet Baker
Chet (Riverside, 1959)
Baby Breeze (Limelight, 1965)

‘With Ray Barretto
Portraits in Jazz and Clave (RCA, 2000)

With Bill Barron
West Side Story Bossa Nova (Dauntless, 1963)

With Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1962)

With Andy Bey
Now! Hear! (Prestige, 1964)
‘Round Midnight (Prestige, 1965)

With Betty Blake
Betty Blake Sings in a Tender Mood (Bethlehem, 1960)

With Eddie Bonnemere
Jazz Orient Ed (Prestige, 1964)

With Pat Bowie
Out of Sight! (Prestige, 1965)

With Dee Dee Bridgewater
Dear Ella (Verve, 1997)

With Ronnell Bright
Bright’s Spot (Savoy, 1956)

With James Brown
Please Please Please (King, 1959)
Try Me! (King, 1959)

With Ray Brown
Some of My Best Friends Are … Guitarists (Telarc, 2002)

With Donald Byrd
Motor City Scene (Bethlehem, 1960)
A New Perspective (Blue Note, 1963)
Up with Donald Byrd (Verve, 1965)

With Betty Carter
‘Round Midnight (Atco, 1963)

With Paul Chambers
Whims of Chambers (Blue Note, 1956)
Bass on Top (Blue Note, 1957)

With Sonny Clark
Sonny Clark Quintets (Blue Note, 1958)

With Chris Connor
Chris Connor Sings Ballads of the Sad Café (Atlantic, 1959)
In Person (Atlantic, 1959)

With Blossom Dearie
Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green (Verve, 1960)
My Gentleman Friend (Verve, 1961)

With Kenny Dorham
‘Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia (Blue Note, 1956)

With Bill Evans
Quintessence (Fantasy, 1976)

With Gil Evans
The Individualism of Gil Evans (Verve, 1964)

With Art Farmer
Ph.D. (Contemporary, 1989)

With Tommy Flanagan
Beyond the Blue Bird (Timeless, 1990)

With Frank Foster
No ‘Count (Savoy, 1956)

With Aretha Franklin
Yeah!!! (Atlantic, 1965)
Soul ’69 (Atlantic, 1969)

With Red Garland
Red Garland Revisited! (Prestige, 1957 [1969])

With Stan Getz
Reflections (Verve, 1963)
Getz Au Go Go (Verve, 1965)
What the World Needs Now: Stan Getz Plays Bacharach and David (Verve, 1968)

With Terry Gibbs
Take It from Me (Impulse!, 1964)

With Dizzy Gillespie
Dee Gee Days: The Savoy Sessions (Savoy, 1951-52 [1976])

With Paul Gonsalves
Cleopatra Feelin’ Jazzy (Impulse!, 1963)

With Babs Gonzales
Tales of Manhattan: The Cool Philosophy of Babs Gonzales (Jaro, 1959)

With Sandy Graham
Comes Love (Jazz Link Enterprises, 2000)

With Roland Hanna
Destry Rides Again (ATCO, 1959)

With Nancy Harrow
Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues (Candid, 1961)

With Coleman Hawkins
Soul (Prestige, 1958)
The Hawk Relaxes (Moodsville, 1961)

With Eddie Harris
Cool Sax from Hollywood to Broadway (Columbia, 1964)

With Gene Harris
World Tour 1990 (Concord Jazz, 1990)

With Johnny Hartman
I Just Dropped by to Say Hello (Impulse!, 1964)

With Jimmy Heath
On the Trail (Riverside, 1964)

With Johnny Hodges
Mess of Blues with Wild Bill Davis (Verve, 1964)
Stride Right with Earl “Fatha” Hines (Verve, 1966)

With Jay Hoggard
The Fountain (Muse, 1991)

With Billie Holiday
Lady Sings the Blues (Clef, 1956)

With Shirley Horn
Loads of Love (Mercury, 1963)

With Lena Horne
Stormy Weather (RCA Victor, 1957)

With Milt Jackson
Bags & Flutes (Atlantic, 1957)
Bean Bags with Coleman Hawkins (Atlantic, 1958)
Soul Brothers with Ray Charles (Atlantic, 1958)
Vibrations (Atlantic, 1960–61)
Soul Meeting with Ray Charles (Atlantic, 1961)
Much in Common with Ray Brown (Verve, 1964)

With Willis Jackson
Bossa Nova Plus (Prestige, 1962)

With Illinois Jacquet
The Cool Rage (Verve, 1958)
The Message (Argo, 1963)
Desert Winds (Argo, 1964)
Birthday Party (Groove Note, 1999)

With John Jenkins
John Jenkins with Kenny Burrell (Blue Note, 1957)

With Budd Johnson
French Cookin’ (Argo, 1963)

With Etta Jones
Love Shout (Prestige, 1962)
Hollar! (Prestige, 1962)

With Hank Jones
Porgy and Bess: Swingin’ Impressions by Hank Jones (Capitol, 1959)
Here’s Love (Argo, 1963)
Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Galaxy, 1978)

With Quincy Jones
Birth of a Band, Vol. 1 (Mercury, 1959)
Birth of a Band, Vol. 2 (Mercury, 1959)

With Thad Jones
Detroit-New York Junction (Blue Note, 1956)
After Hours (Prestige, 1957)

With Taft Jordan
Mood Indigo (Moodsville, 1961)

With Bev Kelly
Love Locked Out (Riverside, 1960)

With Wynton Kelly
Piano (Riverside, 1958)
Comin’ in the Back Door (Verve, 1963)
It’s All Right! (Verve, 1964)

With Joe Kennedy, Jr.
Strings by Candlelight (CAP, 1962)

With B.B. King
Live at the Apollo (GRP, 1991)

With Yusef Lateef
The Blue Yusef Lateef (Atlantic, 1968)

With Hubert Laws
Laws’ Cause (Atlantic, 1968)

With The Leiber–Stoller Big Band
Yakety Yak (Atlantic, 1960)

With Melba Liston
Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones (MetroJazz, 1959)

With Gloria Lynne
Miss Gloria Lynne (Everest, 1958)

With Gildo Mahones
I’m Shooting High (Prestige, 1963)
The Great Gildo (Prestige, 1964)

With Herbie Mann
Just Wailin’ (Prestige, 1958)

With Jack McDuff
Screamin’ (Prestige, 1962)
Somethin’ Slick! (Prestige, 1963)
Steppin’ Out (Prestige, 1961-66 [1969])

With Gary McFarland
The Jazz Version of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” (Verve, 1961)

With Jimmy McGriff
The Big Band (Solid State, 1966)

With Wes Montgomery
Fusion! Wes Montgomery with Strings (Riverside, 1963)

With Frank Morgan
Listen to the Dawn (Antilles, 1993)

With Maria Muldaur
Sweet Harmony (Reprise, 1976)

With Dave Pike
Bossa Nova Carnival (New Jazz, 1962)
Times out of Mind (Muse, 1975)

With Billie Poole
Confessin’ the Blues! (Riverside, 1963)

With The Prestige All Stars
Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors (Prestige, 1957)

With Ike Quebec
Soul Samba (Blue Note, 1962)

With Jerome Richardson
Midnight Oil (New Jazz, 1958)

With Freddie Roach
Down to Earth (Blue Note, 1962)
Mo’ Greens Please (Blue Note, 1963)

With Sonny Rollins
Alfie (Impulse! 1966)

With Charlie Rouse
Bossa Nova Bacchanal (Blue Note, 1962)

With Vanessa Rubin
I’m Glad There Is You: A Tribute to Carmen McRae (Novus, 1994)

With Lalo Schifrin
Once a Thief and Other Themes (Verve, 1965)

With Carol Sloane
Love You Madly (Contemporary, 1988)

With Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 1 (Blue Note, 1957)
Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 2 (Blue Note, 1957)
Confirmation (Blue Note, 1958 [1979])
House Party (Blue Note, 1958)
Softly as a Summer Breeze (Blue Note, 1958)
Six Views of the Blues (Blue Note, 1958 [1999])
The Sermon! (Blue Note, 1959)
Home Cookin’ (Blue Note, 1960)
Midnight Special (Blue Note, 1961)
Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note, 1963)
Any Number Can Win (Verve, 1963)
The Cat (Verve, 1964)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Verve, 1964)
Christmas ’64 (Verve, 1964)
Monster (Verve, 1965)
Organ Grinder Swing (Verve, 1965)
Got My Mojo Workin’ (Verve, 1965)
The Hootchie Coochie Man (Verve, 1966)
Second Coming (Mojo, 1980)
Keep On Comin’ (Elektra, 1983)
Go For Whatcha Know (Blue Note, 1986)
Fourmost (Milestone, 1991)
The Master (Blue Note, 1994)

With Dakota Staton
Time to Swing (Capitol, 1959)

With Sylvia Syms
Sylvia Is! (Prestige, 1965)
Then Along Came Bill: A Tribute to Bill Evans (DRG, 1989)

With Ed Thigpen
Out of the Storm (Verve, 1966)

With Cal Tjader
Warm Wave (Verve, 1964)
Soul Sauce (Verve, 1965)

With Stanley Turrentine
Jubilee Shout!!! (Blue Note, 1962)
Hustlin’ (Blue Note, 1964)
Joyride (Blue Note, 1965)
The Look of Love (Blue Note, 1968)
Always Something There (Blue Note, 1968)
The Sugar Man (CTI, 1971)

With Dinah Washington
What a Diff’rence a Day Makes! (Mercury, 1959)

With Doug Watkins
Watkins at Large (Transition, 1956)

With Frank Wess
North, South, East… Wess (Savoy, 1956)
Opus in Swing (Savoy, 1956)

With Randy Weston
Uhuru Afrika (Roulette, 1960)

With Joe Williams
Jump for Joy (RCA Victor, 1963)
Me and the Blues (RCA Victor, 1964)

With Kai Winding
More (Theme from Mondo Cane) (Verve, 1963)

With Jimmy Witherspoon
Baby, Baby, Baby (Prestige, 1963)
Blue Spoon (Prestige, 1964)

With Leo Wright
Suddenly the Blues


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c Allmusic Biography
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c Cohassey, John. “Kenny Burrell: Guitarist, Educator.” Contemporary Musicians. Profiles of the People in Music. Ed. Julia M. Rubiner. Vol. 11. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1994. 29-31. Print
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Nash, Sunny. “Kenny Burrell Biography.” PRLog, 13 May 2009. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.
  4. Jump up ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (11 May 1963). Billboard

    . Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 16–. ISSN 0006-2510


  5. Jump up ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (20 November 1965). Billboard

    . Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 143–. ISSN 0006-2510


  6. ^ Jump up to: a b c O’Connell, Sean J. “To Preserve ‘America’s Gift To The World,’ A Jazz Elder Becomes A UCLA Professor.” A Blog Supreme. NPR, 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.
  7. Jump up ^ “Jazz Studies Faculty”
  8. Jump up ^ “KENNY BURRELL, 1999”