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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wes Montgomery with the Wynton Kelly Trio: Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)

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In his superb contribution to Bloomsbury Press' 33 & 1/3 series, Bitches Brew (2015), George Grella notes (emphasis mine): “No style of art can remain static: irrelevance is just as much a risk as the inevitable decadence that comes from a style developing to its last measure. But fans, including critics, of particular movements of artists, tend to want what they love to stay the same, the regression is not to the mean but to an Edenic past ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery - Smokin' At The Half Note

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery: Smokin' at the Half Note

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wynton Kelly: Live at the Left Bank Jazz Society

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Chambers/Wynton Kelly: The Complete Vee Jay Paul Chambers/Wynton Kelly Sessions 1959-61

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wynton Kelly: Someday My Prince Will Come

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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 ...


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