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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 26, 2018 | Resonance Records

Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Saturday, March 27, 1965. The man who takes the Parisian concert venue by storm does it with delicacy and cool. His playing has however revolutionized his instrument, in a violent way even… Since Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, guitar hadn’t been abused this way. Especially since here, the instigator of this tsunami both stylistic and formal performs in a configuration that resembles him, without ornamentation, nor commercial decoration. The Wes Montgomery from this unprecedented live performance is frightening and especially great, it is also extremely sophisticated… Surrounded by pianist Harold Mabern, double bass player Arthur Harper and drummer Jimmy Lovelace, the guitarist from Indianapolis finds the perfect balance between his extraordinary skills (to die for on To Wane, a theme penned by Mabern in tribute to Wayne Shorter) and the great originality of his melodic approach. On Full House, ‘Round Midnight and Blue 'N Boogie/West Coast Blues, Wes even welcomes tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, in order to make the party even more memorable. As for the repertoire, he revisits themes from his studio albums for the label Riverside (Jingles, 'Round Midnight, Twisted Blues…), but of which he gives here deeper interpretations. It’s a recording that is as much intended for the guy’s aficionados as for the novices wanting to grasp the art of a great colorist that is gone far too soon, in 1968 at only 45… © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 6, 2017 | Resonance Records

Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Concord Records, Inc.

Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released October 13, 2017 | Riverside

Hi-Res Booklet
On The Wes Montgomery Trio – A Dynamic New Sound: Guitar Organ Drums, his third album which appeared on Riverside Records in 1959, Wes Montgomery confirmed that it was he who caused the earth to tremble with his jazz guitar. And this superb disc cements his name just that bit more in amongst those of the greats. He is joined by Melvin Rhyne on the organ and Paul Parker on the drums adding a simple accompaniment, without ever treading on his toes nor attracting too much attention. Because of course, the hero of these sessions produced on 5th and 6th October 1959, at Reeves Sound Studios in New York, by Orin Keepnews, will always be Wes Montgomery and no one but Wes Montgomery! His style, virtuosic and soaked with the blues, brought a fresh sound to this instrument that was previously dominated by Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow. And in his solos such as ‘Round Midnight, the guitarist from Indianapolis slickly unfurls his refined sound, his unique style and his enchanting phrasing. A few months later, with The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, still with Riverside Records, the affair would take on a whole new look thanks to Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath and Albert "Tootie" Heath, sidemen of a higher calibre… © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Verve

Wes Montgomery's debut for Verve, although better from a jazz standpoint than his later A&M releases, is certainly in the same vein. The emphasis is on his tone, his distinctive octaves, and his melody statements. Some of the material (such as "People" and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker") are pop tunes of the era and the brass orchestra (arranged by Johnny Pate) is purely in the background, but there are some worthy performances, chiefly the two-part "Movin' Wes," "Born to Be Blue," and "West Coast Blues." ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released July 1, 2015 | Crazy Warthog Media

Hi-Res
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | Verve

Wes Montgomery's last album for Verve (other than an exciting collaboration with Jimmy Smith) is a so-so orchestral date featuring arrangements by Don Sebesky. The material (which includes "Sunny" and "California Dreaming") is strictly pop fluff of the era and the great guitarist has little opportunity to do much other than state the melody in his trademark octaves. This record was perfect for AM radio of the period. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Riverside

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Verve

The two-CD set Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sessions salvages Wes Montgomery's straight jazz sessions for Verve, leaving the pop-oriented covers and orchestral sessions to the original albums. There are selected numbers from albums like Movin' Wes, Goin' Out of My Head and California Dreaming, illustrating that those albums were hardly worthless -- each track proves that Montgomery's touch remained elegant and supremely tasteful. The second disc is devoted to the complete sessions for Smokin' at the Half Note, the legendary recording Montgomery made at Van Gelder Studios in 1965 with bassist Paul Chambers, pianist Wynton Kelly and drummer Jimmy Cobb. The music on the record is easily among Montgomery's finest, and this is the first time that all the music from the sessions has been collected in one place. That alone makes it worthwhile for hardcore collectors, but the set also makes an excellent summation of his Verve years for less dedicated fans, since it rounds up his very best work on one attractive set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released October 13, 2017 | Riverside

Hi-Res Booklet
On The Wes Montgomery Trio – A Dynamic New Sound: Guitar Organ Drums, his third album which appeared on Riverside Records in 1959, Wes Montgomery confirmed that it was he who caused the earth to tremble with his jazz guitar. And this superb disc cements his name just that bit more in amongst those of the greats. He is joined by Melvin Rhyne on the organ and Paul Parker on the drums adding a simple accompaniment, without ever treading on his toes nor attracting too much attention. Because of course, the hero of these sessions produced on 5th and 6th October 1959, at Reeves Sound Studios in New York, by Orin Keepnews, will always be Wes Montgomery and no one but Wes Montgomery! His style, virtuosic and soaked with the blues, brought a fresh sound to this instrument that was previously dominated by Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow. And in his solos such as ‘Round Midnight, the guitarist from Indianapolis slickly unfurls his refined sound, his unique style and his enchanting phrasing. A few months later, with The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, still with Riverside Records, the affair would take on a whole new look thanks to Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath and Albert "Tootie" Heath, sidemen of a higher calibre… © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Verve

As part of the Finest Hour series from Verve, guitarist Wes Montgomery is spotlighted on 16 tracks recorded between 1964 and his death in 1968. These sessions highlight the widely accepted jazz-pop combination he achieved on these Verve and A&M releases, which followed a four-year stint on Riverside where he attracted a limited, mainly jazz audience. The guitarist employed a winning formula that combined his straight-ahead jazz style while exploring current trends in pop music that encompassed Latin, funk, and string-laden arrangements. The impressive coverage of guest musicians includes Herbie Hancock, Ray Barretto, Ron Carter, Jimmy Smith, and Clark Terry. ~ Al Campbell
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Jazz - Released January 2, 2013 | Jazz Musts

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Fantasy Records

Although this is billed to Wes Montgomery, it is in fact a combination of two early-'60s LPs by the Montgomery Brothers -- The Montgomery Brothers and The Montgomery Brothers in Canada -- onto one disc. (Also note that it's almost entirely different from the Montgomery Brothers' Milestone double LP that also bears the name Groove Brothers, which mostly features material from their Riverside LP Groove Yard.) With Wes on guitar, Monk on bass, and Buddy on piano (Larance Marable fills out the quartet on drums), The Montgomery Brothers (1960) is a boppish set of five lengthy tracks, divided between both originals (penned by either Wes or Buddy) and standards. "June in January" is a particularly good vehicle for Wes' fluid single-note runs, while "D-Natural Blues" is one of his more enduring and good-natured compositions from the period. Buddy Montgomery, who often played the piano with the Montgomery Brothers, sticks exclusively to vibes on The Montgomery Brothers in Canada, which in addition to Wes and Monk has Paul Humphrey on drums. This club date (which on this CD reissue has been presented without the overdubbed applause on the original LP) is a solid set of cool but not cold bop, with a low-key mood and uniformly tasteful playing. There's only one original on here (by Buddy), but it's a beaut: the buoyant "Beaux Arts" has gorgeous alternations of single-note solos and chording by Wes. In a different vein, "Angel Eyes," which begins with a long drumless passage, shows Wes' skill with a delicate slow ballad. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Gambit Records

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Jazz - Released October 15, 2013 | gianio music

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Jazz - Released April 18, 2012 | Giants of Jazz

Imagine putting out a Wes Montgomery CD in 1998 that does not list personnel, the recording date or liner notes that mention anything about the live concert! Laserlight, a budget label, has yet to fully clean up its act, as shown by the way they have treated the largely rewarding music on this release. Have these performances been out before? Since the music sounds as if it is from around 1965, it is quite possible that the guitarist's quartet also includes pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Arthur Harper and drummer Jimmy Lovelace. Montgomery performs fine versions of "To When," John Coltrane's "Impressions," "Jingles" and "The Girl Next Door," showing throughout why he was considered one of the top guitarists of 1960s jazz. But it is a pity that this music (which is superior to much of his later studio output) has been mishandled by Laserlight. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Verve Records

Taking the listener on a smoother, rather than bumpier, ride down the moonlight highway of jazz is Wes Montgomery, a chief architect of the world's guitar virtuoso scene. Not only is his brilliant command of the six-string present here, so is the vivid color tones of notes and blue notes played between. Backed up by a hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing orchestra conducted and arranged by Don Sebesky, the music almost lifts the listener off his feet into a dreamy, water-like landscape. The atmosphere is serene and enchanting, such as a romantic evening for two under starlight, and certainly a romantic eve merits the accompaniment of this record. The sounds are soft, smooth, and silky, and Montgomery addresses full leadership of his graceful melodic style, fronting close to 20 members of a orchestra perhaps best described resonant and sweeping. So too are the sweeping note flows of Montgomery's guitar, and his surprising fluidness towards the art of comping, a necessary trait of the jazz guitar virtuoso. Even the unforgettable Jim Hall can be tickled and intrigued through a listen of these influential records, as for all amateur and professional guitar musicians. "A Quiet Thing" is perhaps the most somber, peaceful, and smooth piece on the record, demonstrating Montgomery's love of quiet, and how much the idea of not playing at all brings music to the listeners. The charming sounds of orchestral violas, violins, cellos, and harp are sent ablaze to create a pleasant atmosphere, either for a quick morning get up, get ready for work, or evening dining setting. "Here's That Rainy Day" is an up-tempo bossa nova tune that resonates with Montgomery's enticing chordal changes and blissful phrasing, not to mention the blend of harp and strings lays the groundwork for a perfect rainy day inside, with drops pattering at the windows and fires aglow. The recording engineer did a wonderful job with this album. The sound quality is clear and lush, and, overall, this collection of mid-'60s cool jazz is a delight to listen too, once and again. ~ Shawn M. Haney

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