Barney Kessel

The name Barney Kessel is virtually synonymous with "great guitarist." As Leonard Feather has written, "Kessel is not only as lyrical a guitarist as we have in jazz today, but also a rhythmic natural who can out swing any man in the house." But as Kessel points out, the instrument is merely the tool of the artist. "The music," he says, "is not in the guitar, it’s in the person." Whether in his earlier incarnations as a sideman (with Lester Young, Oscar Peterson, Hampton Hawes, Stephane Grappelli, and others), a studio session player (for radio, television, and film), a member of the Great Guitars, or as a leader himself, Kessel has dedicated himself to getting the music out in the purest and most honest form possible.