Barney Kessel

From the 1940’s to the early 1990’s, Barney was an iconic leader, sideman, and studio musician known for his fiery single-note approach and complex chord work.

Barney Kessel with his 1946 Gibson ES-350.
Barney Kessel 2” by vernon.hydeBarney Kessel. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Biography

Barney Kessel – A Jazz Legend

The definitive Barney Kessel biography, written by Maurice J. Summerfield. Includes pictures, interviews, and a complete discography.

  • Review/Summary of the book published in the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors journal (with USC library access).
  • Purchase the book from Hal Leonard.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Encyclopedia of Popular Music article on Barney (with USC library access). Includes an extensive discography.

Grove Music Online

The Grove Music Online – The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition entry for Barney (with USC library access). Includes an extensive bibliography.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia entry.

Performances

Barney Kessel Jazz Scene USA
Barney Kessel Jazz Scene USA

Barney Kessel Jazz Scene USA

Filmed on October 1st, 1962. A 25 minute film, the group plays "The Gypsy in my Soul," "Fly Me To the Moon (In Other Words)," "April in Paris," "Danny Boy," and "One Mint Julep." With Buddy Woodson (bass) and Stan Levey (drums).

Barney Kessel - Autumn Leaves (1979)
Barney Kessel - Autumn Leaves (1979)

Barney Kessel - Autumn Leaves (1979)

"Autumn Leaves," in 1979.

Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessel - Watch What Happens
Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessel - Watch What Happens

Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessel - Watch What Happens

Oscar Peterson - piano, Barney Kessel - guitar, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen - bass. Ronnie Scotts 1974.

Education

Transcription of “Can’t Help Loving Dat Man of Mine”

Transcription of Barney’s comping on “Can’t Help Loving Dat Man of Mine,” from the Julie London album Julie is Her Name.

Transcription of “Satin Doll”

Transcription of “Satin Doll” from Poll Winners album.