Wes Montgomery – Incredible Jazz Guitar

Wes Montgomery
Incredible Jazz Guitar
[Keepnews Collection]
Concord Jazz – 2008

Orrin’s commentary (from his new liner notes): “I began constructing the 1960 definitive presentation of [Wes] Montgomery by recognizing the need to keep things as clear-cut and uncomplicated as possible. There were at least three unique aspects to his performing style: he played with his thumb, never using a pick… and his solos almost invariably included two elements routinely referred to as ‘impossible’-his use of octaves and of pianistic block chords. Self-taught (his first ‘lesson’ had involved heavy listening to Charlie Christian records) and never able to read music notation of any kind, he somehow possessed an unfailing command of the blues and of ballad tempo and was an impressive composer.”

Personnel: Wes Montgomery on guitar and pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath

Key songs: “Airegin,” “Four on Six, “Gone With the Wind”

Orrin on The Keepnews Collection:

This is a series of reissues that can be described as largely centered on my incredibly long (even to me) career as a jazz producer, contributing to the careers of some of the most significant jazz performers of our day. The series follows a specific set of ground rules. In each case the original product is preserved-cover art, the notes, and the entire initial recorded content, in the exact original sequence-and it is now presented with the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering from the original master tapes. Alternate takes or originally unissued numbers, when available, appear as bonus tracks. In some instances I’ve added to the total lineup a never-used version that may have been recorded forty or more years ago. When that occasionally allows you to hear for the first time a “new” performance by a long-departed artist, be aware that I join you in considering this a truly wonderful addition. Finally, I have written a complete set of new commentaries, digging back into my memories of those often very good old days to tell a few more stories about this remarkable music and its people. On the whole, I am unreasonably and unshakably proud of the results.