Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery Smokin' At The Half Note Verve 829578 1965
The late jazz guitarist Emily Remler once said that lurking inside her middle-class Jewish body was a black man with a fat right thumb. That black man with a fat thumb was Wes Montgomery. Born John Leslie Montgomery in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 6, 1925, Montgomery took the better part of his short life to become an overnight success. He bagain to teach himself to play guitar when he was 18 years old. Fairly unorthodox, Montgomery learned to play the ...read more
This remastered, expanded edition of the classic 1965 Wes Montgomery-Wynton Kelly Trio session is essentially an economy-priced version of the import The Complete Live at the Half Note. If you have the original Smokin' at the Half Note and are not a Wes completist intent on picking up the six extra tunes (expendable, with the exception of Impressions"), the audio quality of this version is not sufficiently superior, in my opinion, to justify purchase. Still, it's reassuring to see that Montgomery's popularity continues to be supported by new editions of his work.
Montgomery did not receive widespread public ...read more
Pianist Wynton Kelly, one of the most respected musicians of his time (1950's - 60's), was better known as a complementary player than band leader. He fit in with countless musical situations (singers, big bands, Coltrane, you name it), and almost anything he played on is worth hearing if only for him. He never meant to upstage anyone, but his ensemble playing was so interesting and full of swing the listener is inevitably drawn to him. His soloing was equally as riveting with ideas pouring out continually. An open-door session like the LBJS with tunes 11 to 25 minutes long ...read more
Following hard on the heels of Mosaic’s already acclaimed Vee-Jay set collecting early works from Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan, we get The Complete Vee Jay Paul Chambers-Wynton Kelly Sessions, a superlative companion piece that sets straight material that has been issued and reissued in haphazard form for many years now. In addition to a pair of original releases from bassist Paul Chambers and another three from pianist Wynton Kelly, we get the full output of the Fabulous Frank Strozier album (included because of Kelly’s role as a sideman on the date) and six previously unreleased alternate takes from various ...read more
It’s tempting to play the “Six Degrees of Separation” game with Miles Davis and see if you can actually link every jazz musician back to him. This is due to the fact that Miles recorded quite a few classic albums, but was also responsible for fostering talented artists in his band that went on to record exceptional sessions of their own. Maiden Voyage and A Love Supreme come to mind.
Although not an adventurous as Hancock or Coltrane, Wynton Kelly was one of Miles’ greatest sidemen, although his contributions to sessions like Kind of Blue frequently remain in the shadow ...read more
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