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Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery [CD]

Wes Montgomery Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £9.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Biography

Nearly thirty years after his death from a heart attack at age forty-five, John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery remains the standard for modern jazz guitarists. He is to his idiom what Segovia is to the classical form, B.B. King to electric blues, and Jimi Hendrix to rock. Although Wes’s original model, Charlie Christian (1916–1942), essentially wrote the Old Testament of jazz ... Read more in Amazon's Wes Montgomery Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Jan 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Disconforme (Poll Winners Records)
  • ASIN: B004C9P9WO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Airegin (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 4:28£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. D-Natural Blues (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 5:22£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 4:42£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Four on Six (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 6:15£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. West Coast Blues (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 7:23£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. In Your Own Sweet Way (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 4:53£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Mr. Walker (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 4:32£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Gone with the Wind (feat. Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath & Albert Heath) 6:20£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. D-Natural Blues (feat. Buddy Montgomery & Monk Montgomery) [Bonus Track] 6:25£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. West Coast Blues (feat. Harold Land & Sam Jones) [Bonus Track] 6:01£0.69  Buy MP3 


Product Description

This release contains the complete classic album The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (Riverside RLP12- 320), featuring the guitarist in a quartet format with the wonderful rhythm section of Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath and Albert Tootie Heath. Further versions by Wes of two of the album s songs, also recorded in 1960, have been added as a bonus. Includes 16-page booklet. Wes Montgomery (1925-1968) was one of the most revered guitarists in jazz history. The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery was his third album as a leader following Montgomeryland (1958) and The Wes Montgomery Trio (1959). He had also previously participated on two other albums with his brothers Buddy and Monk, The Montgomery Brothers and 5 Others (1957) and Kismet (the latter album was issued under the group name The Mastersounds and featured Wes and his brothers. Kismet was recorded three days after Montgomeryland). Prior to these sessions, Wes had only worked and recorded with the band of Lionel Hampton (beginning in 1948). On The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, Wes was backed by Tommy Flanagan (1930-2001) on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Percy s brother Albert Tootie Heath on drums. The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery was highly praised as soon as it was released, including its fi ve star rating in Down Beat magazine.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Wes 13 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD
If you asked a cross section of contemporary jazz guitarists to pick essential jazz guitar albums, this is one that they could all agree on. The Incredible Jazz Guitar is not only the album that announced to the jazz world that Wes Montgomery had arrived as a major force to be reckoned with, it is the record that caused many established players to re-evaluate their technique.

With many much-copied innovators, it can sometimes be hard to appreciate what made them so unique in the first place. This is not the case with Wes Montgomery. His choice to use the thumb rather than a plectrum to play notes was un-orthodox, and has never been matched let alone bettered. He was the first guitarist to play entire choruses in octaves, and his influential strategy of constructing a solo by starting with single notes, then progressing to octaves, and finally improvising with block chords is in full evidence here.

The choice of material is first rate. The album opens with a fast version of the Sonny Rollins composition Airegin, and includes a very beautiful version of Polkadots & Moonbeams played in octaves. In addition, Wes introduces some of his finest originals including the catchy Four On Six and the jazz waltz West Coast Blues. Listen out for the moment in his solo on Mr. Walker where he spontaneously comes up with a harmonic phrase later utilised in the Bond films.

With no let up in quality for 44 minutes, and consistently excellent support from Tommy Flanagan on piano, and two of the Heath brothers on bass and drums, how could you not purchase this pivotal album?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Wes 13 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD
If you asked a cross section of contemporary jazz guitarists to pick essential jazz guitar albums, this is one that they could all agree on. The Incredible Jazz Guitar is not only the album that announced to the jazz world that Wes Montgomery had arrived as a major force to be reckoned with, it is the record that caused many established players to re-evaluate their technique.

With many much-copied innovators, it can sometimes be hard to appreciate what made them so unique in the first place. This is not the case with Wes Montgomery. His choice to use the thumb rather than a plectrum to play notes was un-orthodox, and has never been matched let alone bettered. He was the first guitarist to play entire choruses in octaves, and his influential strategy of constructing a solo by starting with single notes, then progressing to octaves, and finally improvising with block chords is in full evidence here.

The choice of material is first rate. The album opens with a fast version of the Sonny Rollins composition Airegin, and includes a very beautiful version of Polkadots & Moonbeams played in octaves. In addition, Wes introduces some of his finest originals including the catchy Four On Six and the jazz waltz West Coast Blues. Listen out for the moment in his solo on Mr. Walker where he spontaneously comes up with a harmonic phrase later utilised in the Bond films.

With no let up in quality for 44 minutes, and consistently excellent support from Tommy Flanagan on piano, and two of the Heath brothers on bass and drums, how could you not purchase this pivotal album?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Wes 22 May 2011
Format:Audio CD
If you asked a cross section of contemporary jazz guitarists to pick essential jazz guitar albums, this is one that they could all agree on. The Incredible Jazz Guitar is not only the album that announced to the jazz world that Wes Montgomery had arrived as a major force to be reckoned with, it is the record that caused many established players to re-evaluate their technique.

With many much-copied innovators, it can sometimes be hard to appreciate what made them so unique in the first place. This is not the case with Wes Montgomery. His choice to use the thumb rather than a plectrum to play notes was un-orthodox, and has never been matched let alone bettered. He was the first guitarist to play entire choruses in octaves, and his influential strategy of constructing a solo by starting with single notes, then progressing to octaves, and finally improvising with block chords is in full evidence here.

The choice of material is first rate. The album opens with a fast version of the Sonny Rollins composition Airegin, and includes a very beautiful version of Polkadots & Moonbeams played in octaves. In addition, Wes introduces some of his finest originals including the catchy Four On Six and the jazz waltz West Coast Blues. Listen out for the moment in his solo on Mr. Walker where he spontaneously comes up with a harmonic phrase later utilised in the Bond films.

With no let up in quality for 44 minutes, and consistently excellent support from Tommy Flanagan on piano, and two of the Heath brothers on bass and drums, how could you not purchase this pivotal album?
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Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius breaks through 21 Mar 2013
By BobH
Format:Audio CD
I bought 'The Incredible Guitar of Wes Montgomery' (1960) as an LP over fifty years ago and it quickly made its way into my top 3 jazz records as the tit;e is so well-deserved. It's stayed there throughout all the years. I may prefer the individualised performances of Joe Pass but Wes Montgomery stands supreme when playing as a member of a combo. Notice how tightly he fits in with other musicians - later shown on the recordings he made with his brothers. Note also that 50% of the pieces on this CD were composed by Wes Montgomery, a natural genius.
Wes was self-taught and demonstrates this by doing things he 'shouldn't, such as improvising in octaves and part-chords. I also prefer the softer tone produced by his use of the thumb instead of a plectrum, never quite achieved by others by simply adjusting the amp's output.
From the very start 'Airegin' displays Wes's inventive phrasing, including his dynamic use of octaves and chords. with Tommy Flannigan (piano) filling in nicely in the background and Percy Heath (bass) providing a strong driving force.
There's a poignant air about 'D-Natural Blues' and then it suddenly picks up tempo with Wes doing the driving with a surprising self-confidence.
'Polka dots and Moonbeams' is not quite so successful, at least to me, as it lacks the natural 'swing' of Wes's style. This is shown in later recordings, accompanied by massed strings - and sometimes on 'Bags meets Wes' with Milt Jackson.
The next track, 'Four on Six' plunges the quartet right back in a real driving piece with the trust of bass (Percy Heath)and the lyricism of the piano backed by chord punctuations from Wes
Then one of my favourites, 'West Coast Blues' demonstrates the timing of Wes as he sits on top of fine support, notably by Albert Heath on drums.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakthrough recording 1 May 2000
By Tyler Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
As the very useful liner notes to this release point out, this 1960 recording was a bit of a coming-out party for Montgomery, arguably the best and most influential jazz guitarist of the last half century. The title is not hyperbole; the guitar playing here is indeed incredible, although Wes sets aside mere flash for meaningful swing.
The guitarist benefits from a crack band behind him: Al and Percy Heath on drums and bass, respectively, and the flawless Tommy Flanagan on piano. Flanagan had shortly before this date contributed mightily to Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and his ability to seamlessly slip in behind Montgomery on a date that couldn't be more different than Coltrane's is testimony to his taste and his chops.
Wes's startling chording will be a revelation to those who haven't heard him before, but even if you've listened to him a lot you'll still find his work on, for example, "Four on Six" and "West Coast Blues" immensely satisfying. On both these cuts, he flows endlessly between chords and octaves, creating a smooth river of sound. Beautiful.
Also of note is his treatment of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," a chestnut that Wes turns into a lovely romance that sounds new and fresh. This is a great CD for the jazz guitar lover, who will realize immediately that it doesn't get much better than this.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Jazz Guitar CD 23 Feb 2009
By Roger Berlind - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is my favorite Jazz Guitar album and one that I've had for some time, first on a cassette that I got from my brother and eventually on CD. I used to listen to this in my car and didn't even know the names of the songs or who had written them. All I knew was that I really dug Montgomery's guitar playing.

After getting the 1987 version of the CD, I learned that the album included Sonny Rollins' "Airegin", Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way", 2 standards, and 4 originals by Montgomery. I also learned that his supporting cast included Tommy Flanagan on piano and the Heath brothers on bass and drums.

This album is a real pleasure to listen to, not just for Montgomery's truly incredible guitar playing, but also for the relaxing atmosphere all 4 musicians create. This is a perfect album to play late at night before going to bed; just turn down the lights, lie down on your couch, and let the music soothe your soul.

My only complaint about the CD I owned (the 1987 remastering) was that the sound was kind of muddy. While reviewing that version, I learned that this "Keepnews Collection" version had been released, so I ordered it to compare the sound. It does have slightly better sound, mainly stronger bass. In retrospect, I suspect that the "muddiness" I heard in the 1987 version was mostly in Montgomery's own sound or in the source tapes.

The real value of the 2008 version, however, is the new booklet with a new essay by Orin Keepnews, who produced the original sessions. He explains how he first heard about Montgomery from Cannonball Adderly, talks about the first two records (including this one) that Montgomery cut for Riverside, and explains the boastful title. He also puts the album in the broader context of Montgomery's brief but brilliant 9 year career.
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terrible sound 13 May 2004
By Blues Bro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a great, great album. You need to buy this album if you are interested in jazz guitar or guitar at all. But the sound on this CD is just plain awful. Spend the extra bucks and get the Hybrid SACD version or at least the 24 bit remastering, its worth it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wes Montgomery's best 14 Nov 2005
By Bomojaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
One of Wes Montgomery's best albums, if not THE best, and one of the best albums of the 1960s. Technically Wes was at the top of his game at this point, and he came into the recording studio at the end of January 1960, in very high spirits: his daughter Toni had just been born and he had just signed a deal with Fantasy where he'd be able to record with his brothers Monk and Buddy.

All of this is evident on this recording. And pianist Tommy Flanagan, whose mere presence almost assures a successful recording endeavor, is playing at peak form. Highlights include the initial recording of Wes's WEST COAST BLUES, which would quickly become a jazz standard; a superb version of GONE WITH THE WIND, which is an example of virtuoso guitar playing at it's finest; and D-NATURAL BLUES, with great down-home feeling, that some NYC jazz fans from the 60's might remember as never-to-be-surpassed jazz dj Ed Beach's background music. But everything on this CD works marvelously, and the album became the one against which all other Montgomery albums were measured. A gotta-have CD.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars on point! 5 May 2000
By Christopher Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If you've yet to add any of guitarist Montgomery's recordings to your collection, this wouldn't be a bad start. In fact, you probably couldn't do much better. For this 1960 session, produced by Orrin Keepnews, Montgomery was surrounded by a stellar group of musicians: the incomparable Tommy Flanagan on piano, and the always compatible duo of bassist Percy Heath and his brother, drummer Albert Heath. The material is strong, ranging from standards like "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Gone With the Wind" to Montgomery originals "Four On Six" and "West Coast Blues" (both of which subsequently became 'standards' in their own right). I don't know much about jazz guitar, but Montgomery is definitely on point here--his improvisations are always very fluid and soulful. Flanagan provides sensitive accompaniment, as usual--dig his beautiful solo on Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweeet Way." All in all, this'd be a great recording to introduce, say, a budding jazz guitarist to how a guitar should function in a jazz ensemble. Well worth owning.
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