Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

48

Wes Montgomery: Echoes of Indiana Avenue

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "‘Round Midnight"

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 got wind of some unissued music by guitarist Wes Montgomery (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's groundbreaking recordings of the late 1930s. If Joe Pass approximates Oscar Peterson on guitar, then Montgomery is Count Basie. Montgomery's technicality was revealed in his use of octaves more than his speed or dexterity. His note choice was expert, and in light of his autodidactic status, revelatory.

Montgomery's respect of Thelonious Monk 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 on his improvised masterpiece, "Blue Seven" from Saxophone Colossus (Prestige, 1956). Montgomery carefully develops his solo within the format of the classic organ trio, burning the already well-worn piece with a soul jazz flame. This is the greatest jazz find brought to disc since The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane: at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note, 2005).

Track Listing: Diablo's Dance; 'Round Midnight; Straight No Chaser; Nica's Dream; Darn That Dream; Take The 'A' Train; Misty; Body and Soul; After Hours Blues.

Personnel: Wes Montgomery: guitar; Monk Montgomery: bass (3); Buddy Montgomery: piano (3); Mingo Jones: bass (6-9); Earl Van Riper: piano (6-9); Sonny Johnson: drums (6--8); Melvin Rhyne: piano (1, 4), organ (2, 5); Paul Parker: drums (1, 2, 4, 5); Unknown bassist (1, 4).

Title: Echoes Of Indiana Avenue | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Resonance Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Short Notice" CD/LP/Track Review Short Notice
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Parts Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Parts Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 6, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor