Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 29 August 2017
As someone who likes to listen to jazz every now and again, I am not too familiar with popular artists of the genre. When I stumbled across the guitar maestro Wes Montgomery, I felt like I had discovered something special. A feeling that was solidified when I purchased his live record, Full House.
Full House is the first official live release from the jazz guitarist. The record was released in 1962 and was recorded in concert at Tsubo in Berkeley, California. The band was a quintet made up of the members Johnny Griffin (saxaphone), Wynton Kelly (Piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums) and of course, Wes Montgomery on guitar. The result is a buttery smooth sounding jazz record that easily makes my must have list, without question.
The style of jazz played here is pretty typical of the period that it was recorded in. You'll find the quintessential swing grooves, moments which transition into a mix of more complex beats and rhythms as well as some more mellow bluesier moments. The striking variety of styles works well, mostly due to the superb professionalism from each band member. Even though there are many solos and near endless jams through out, the songs never go to a point where it is just there to serve their egos. Unlike what would eventually turn into fazz fusion (and prog rock), Wes and his band keep things on a set path, tempo and rhythm only taking it far enough for things to sound impressive but not overly complex or dull.
The real icing on the cake is the top notch production. The band put on a stellar performance, but that isn't anything if the record sounds awful. Full House has been superbly produced with each band member sounding as clear as day and given the perfect amount of room to breathe to avoid treading on anyone's toes. This could be down to the choice of remaster I picked up, but I have a suspicion that this record has just aged beautifully. After all, even The Beatles have moments of sounding off due to the lack of advanced recording technology in the 1960s.
There are a few options for those wanting a copy of Fullhouse. You can pick up the same copy I did which features the original track list, you can purchase this on LP or you can hunt down the extended sessions which features the entire live performance. Either way, Wes Montgomery's Full House is a beautifully preserved record that features some world class playing and is worth buying for not just jazz enthusiasts, but for people who can appreciate a great musical performance.
Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone