Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning

Album review
Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning

Wes Montgomery

In The Beginning

Label: Resonance
Media: LP
Genre: Jazz

In 2012 Resonance Records released Echoes of Indiana Avenue, a spectacular collection of previously unheard Wes Montgomery recordings. Apparently doing the impossible once only whetted the label’s appetite; they have followed up with a three-LP set that’s just as rewarding musically and even more significant historically, as it includes most of Montgomery’s very first recordings outside of Lionel Hampton’s big band, in which he practically never soloed. These 1949 sides are R&B-oriented and somewhat dated, and some of the live recordings that make up the bulk of the set are a bit lo-fi, but the genius of Wes Montgomery far outweighs such minor distractions. The live material is mostly from Indianapolis clubs, and it prominently features Wes’ brothers Buddy (piano) and Monk (bass) as well as the fine tenor player, Alonzo “Pookie” Johnson, all of whom were on hand when Wes’ recording career really got going. The set also includes five tracks produced in 1955 by Quincy Jones for Epic but unissued (except one cut) until now. Production values could not be higher, from the beautiful vinyl to the accompanying booklet, complete with great photos and reminiscences from Buddy Montgomery, Quincy Jones, and others. An absolute must for jazz guitar fans.

More Info

  • primary artist, Wes Montgomery

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