One of the great jam session recordings of the 1950s, All Night Long was under the relaxed direction of Kenny Burrell. The guitarist gathered together some of the finest young players on the New York scene, including Donald Byrd on trumpet and tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Jerome Richardson, one of the unsung heroes of the flute in jazz. Mal Waldron, Doug Watkins and Arthur Taylor were the rhythm section. The musical formats were uncomplicated; "All Night Long" a blues with a bridge, Waldron's "Flickers" a 16-bar pattern, Mobley's two originals based on familiar 32-bar chord sequences. From these simple, classic bases were launched performances with the hallmarks that have long identified any Burrell project: Relaxation, swing and high standards of musicianship.
By 1964, when Soul Call was recorded, Kenny Burrell had established himself as one of the most admired guitarists in jazz. A guitarist of rare taste and musicality, Burrell shines in this small group with rhythm and blues leanings.
This is a typically tasteful Kenny Burrell record (reissued on CD) with the guitarist mostly emphasizing ballads. Five of the seven songs (which include "Make Someone Happy," "Since I Fell for You" and the theme from "A Streetcar Named Desire") find Burrell assisted by pianist Richard Wyands (who also played electric piano), bassist Reggie Johnson and drummer Lenny McBrowne. "'Round Midnight" is played by Burrell with pianist Joe Sample, bassist Johnson and drummer Paul Humphrey while "Blues in the Night" is an unaccompanied guitar solo. Although the music overall is well-played, no real sparks fly and the results often border on being sleepy.
This album is one of guitarist Kenny Burrell's best-known sessions for the Blue Note label. Burrell is matched with tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, bassist Major Holley, drummer Bill English, and Ray Barretto on conga for a blues-oriented date highlighted by "Chitlins Con Carne," "Midnight Blue," "Saturday Night Blues," and the lone standard "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You."