In welcome fits of serendipity, the manuscripts of previously unknown European classical compositions are found in attics, old churches or forgotten libraries and brought to light with no little fanfare. In the United States, there is an equivalent situation with hitherto previously unissued jazz recordings being revealed in the most unlikely places. In a recent example, producer Michael Cuscuna
(1923-1968) being offered on eBay. Due to the short length of the guitarist's professional career, there are many fewer Montgomery recordings out there as compared to his peers of the 1950s and '60s. The eBay listing came to an end, and the tape's new owner, guitarist Jim Greeninger, made a call to Cuscuna that, three years later, resulted in the release of Echoes of Indiana Avenue.
These recordings were made in three different formats, ostensibly as demos for record companies. Montgomery signed with the Pacific Jazz label in 1958 (resulting in Fingerpickin'), so it is thought that these recordings were made between 1957 and '58. Montgomery's style represents a natural evolution from Charlie Christian
is illustrated by the guitarist's inclusion of "'Round Midnight" and "Straight, No Chaser" in these demos. "'Round Midnight" was a regular inclusion in Montgomery's book, having been recorded by the guitarist several times during his short career. This early example of the jazz ballad shows that Montgomery's jazz language was already well developed. He spins the Monk tune into a classic improvisation that goes where the piano cannot take it. Montgomery's solo development here can be compared to that of Sonny Rollins