Although guitarist Barney Kessel interprets seven standard ballads on this CD reissue (a trio set with bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Jake Hanna), this is not a ballad album. Most of the songs are taken at faster than usual tempoes with the emphasis on Kessel’s chordal (rather than single-note) solos. The guitarist was in peak form around this era as can be heard on a romping version of “I Love You,” “Star Eyes,” “Like Someone in Love” and “Get Out of Town.” In addition he contributes one of his finest originals, “Seagull,” a song that deserves to be revived. This underrated set is well worth exploring. – Scott Yanow
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