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.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Nakedonia" CD/LP/Track Review Nakedonia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!