The joy in Barney Kessel’s guitar playing in this 1961 album signified his liberation from years of stultification in the Los Angeles studios. Workin’ Out! marked Kessel’s cannonball plunge back into full-time jazz with an attitude of optimism and a brand-new group under his leadership. The repertoire included slow pieces as well as stompers like "The Good Li’l Man" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," but even the ballads took on an edge of aggressive fun. Kessel was one of the most successful and influential guitarists to emerge after his fellow Oklahoman Charlie Christian showed the way to bebop guitar. His career included stardom with Jazz At The Philharmonic and the Oscar Peterson Trio and a leading role in West Coast jazz. Lucrative studio work in hundreds of movies and television programs sidetracked him, but his heart was in all-out blowing and with Workin’ Out!, he was on the right road again and loving it.