Watch the Senor Azul online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know
Orrin Keepnews produced records for the independent Riverside label during its highwater mark, working on records by Wes Montgomery, Milt Jackson, Thelonious Monk and many others including, prior to his stint with Blue Note, trumpeter Blue Mitchell.
As the story everyone loves to repeat goes, the difference between Blue Note’s records and those of its other main rival on the scene, Prestige, was "a day of rehearsal." Paid rehearsal, as Keepnews points out. Riverside, says Keepnews, was somewhere in the middle, and they certainly made some fabulous records of their own (hello, "Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery"). And if you’re a hopeless music geek like I am, you’ll also recognize Keepnews as the author of many jazz liner notes of that era and beyond, for Riverside and elsewhere. A quick search online will turn up a discussion with the producer about what it was like to record Mitchell, including a story involving Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly and a Hawaiian shirt that should make anyone who’s ever gotten vibed out by another musician feel a little better, knowing that it can and does happen to the best of them.