209

Wes Montgomery: Boss Guitar

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Wes Montgomery: Boss Guitar Wes Montgomery’s first recordings as a leader for Riverside featured the popular organ-guitar-drums line-up, a configuration that he later abandoned for the better part of his stint with the label. Although organ jazz was quite a cash cow at the time, Montgomery was firmly rooted in bop, more eager to see what he could do with material like “Cottontail” rather than engaging in steamy soul jazz workouts. However, for his final recording with Riverside in 1963, Montgomery returned to the format in which he was originally discovered and reenlisted organist Mel Rhyne, his partner from the early days. Although he occasionally employed an extra horn on his recordings, Montgomery was always at his best as the sole lead instrument, as this recording will attest.

Boss Guitar is a good measure of how far the guitarist had come in a few short years; although he was quite proficient early on, there’s an elegance and precision missing from the earliest recordings. Anyone expecting an album along the lines of a Jimmy Smith session will be disappointed, for this record leans heavily on interpretations of popular tunes from the time instead of jam-oriented material. Which is not to say that the trio doesn’t generate heat: the lightning-quick riffing of “Dearly Beloved” is as incendiary as anything Montgomery ever did, and “Fried Pies” is a funky original with a heavy does of blues riffs. Montgomery eventually headed to Verve, where his direction was poorly managed, and Boss Guitar is arguably his last great session.


Track Listing: 1. Besame Mucho 2. Dearly Beloved 3. Days Of Wine and Roses 4. The Trick Bag 5. Canadian Sunset 6. Fried Pies 7. The Breeze and I 8. For Heaven's Sake 9. Besame Mucho (alt. take) 10. Fried Pies (alt. take).

Personnel: Wes Montgomery-guitar; Mel Rhyne-organ; Jimmy Cobb-drums.

Title: Boss Guitar | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Apprentice" CD/LP/Track Review Apprentice
by Alex Franquelli
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.