Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles | Popular | Future

YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Werlin's Notable Hi-Res Releases in 2018

Read "Mark Werlin's Notable Hi-Res Releases in 2018" reviewed by Mark Werlin

2018 has been a good year for jazz music in hi-res audio formats. ECM, Songlines, Intakt, ACT Music, Firehouse 12, Foné, Mack Avenue, TRPTK, and other independent labels released newly-recorded and recent catalog albums in high resolution through download vendors, Bandcamp, and the labels' own websites. One US music vendor lists more than 300 jazz titles that became available as hi-res downloads in 2018. High resolution audio has become increasingly affordable and widespread, with hi-res DACs included in portable and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: Wes Montgomery In Paris

Read "Wes Montgomery In Paris" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

With Resonance Records' release of Wes Montgomery in Paris 1965, we receive not only the first official production of this classic concert to provide royalties to the Montgomery family, but also a gloriously remastered portrait of a seminal jazz contributor during a pivotal period of artistic history. Lovingly appointed with extensive commentary and an abundance of historic photos, the two-disc album documents the astounding concert by Wes Montgomery in Paris, which featured Montgomery backed by an astute working ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording

Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Zev Feldman has called Resonance Records, “The house Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery built." That may be hyperbolic, but the label has liberated from obscurity many previously unreleased or rarely heard performances by the two artists. Regarding Montgomery, Resonance has released four Montgomery recordings to date: Echoes of Indiana Avenue (Resonance, 2012); In The Beginning (Resonance, 2015); One Night in Indy (Resonance, 2016); and Smokin' in Seattle: Live At the Penthouse 1966 (Resonance, 2017). The label now adds a diamond ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: One Night in Indy

Read "One Night in Indy" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In the Resonance Wes Montgomery catalog, One Night in Indy: Featuring the Eddie Higgins Trio (2016) falls in between In The Beginning (Resonance, 2015) and Smokin' in Seattle: Live At the Penthouse 1966 (Resonance, 2017). It is documentation of Montgomery, appearing with the Eddie Higgins Trio at the Indianapolis Jazz Club, January 18, 1959. These performances, not previously released, fall chronologically between In The Beginning and Wes Montgomery: Beginnings (Blue Note, 1959). the Wes Montgomery Trio (Riverside, 1959); The Incredible ...

REASSESSING

Full House

Read "Full House" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Wes Montgomery's recording of his June 25, 1962 live performance at the Tsubo Jazz Club in Berkeley, California intersects significantly with two recent Resonance releases. One intersection involves the Wynton Kelly trio, comprised of pianist Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. It was with this same trio that Montgomery would record his essential Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery: Smokin' at the Half Note (Verve, 1965) and then, later, be captured with on Smokin' in Seattle: Live At ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording

Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Resonance Records has done it again--where it is polishing up an old find for the great-sounding and excellently-presented (and not least, legitimate) release it deserves. As par for the label's course, this package boasts quality mastering and a top-notch insert of liner notes, photos and background commentary. It also marks this famous performance's first authorized release honoring the rights of the artist's estate and family. And what a performance it is. Wes Montgomery listeners who haven't hunted down ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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

Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning-Early Recordings from 1949-1958

Read "Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning-Early Recordings from 1949-1958" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Guitarist Wes Montgomery, despite his tragically short life, was very prolific and immensely impactful. Equally adept at sophisticated instrumental virtuosity and lighter, more commercially appealing sounds, Montgomery influenced majority of guitar players who appeared on the jazz scene during the 1960s and after. Montgomery cut his first record Fingerpickin' for Pacific Jazz in 1958 at the age of 35. During the preceding decade, however, Montgomery performed regularly despite having a “day job" at a factory. With In The ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Classic Jazz Guitar

Read "Classic Jazz Guitar" reviewed by Bob Patterson

This article was originally published in August 2005. To pick the Top 10 of anything is a tough task. When it comes to the subject of jazz guitar, the task is enormously difficult. However, these are the ten most influential guitarists (in my opinion), arranged in somewhat chronological order. Each recording listed is the one that either put them on the map or serves as an excellent example of their style. Because of the guitar's highly individualized nature, ...

REASSESSING

Wes Montgomery: So Much Guitar!

Read "Wes Montgomery: So Much Guitar!" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Wes MontgomerySo Much Guitar!OJC1962/2013 Wes Montgomery's So Much Guitar! continues the latest round of re-releases/re-masters from the Concord Music Group, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records. So Much Guitar! follows the re-releases of singer and trumpeter Chet Baker's Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe (OJC/Riverside, 1959/2013) and Mulligan Meets Monk (OJC/Riverside, 1957/2013) in the label's birthday celebration. Montgomery enjoyed a productive stay at Riverside between ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: Echoes of Indiana Avenue

Read "Echoes of Indiana Avenue" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wes Montgomery: Echoes of Indiana Avenue

Read "Echoes of Indiana Avenue" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In the mid-twentieth century, Indianapolis was an incubator for jazz talent. Trombonist J.J. Johnson, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and guitarist Wes Montgomery all began their individual ascents to stardom from the heart of Hoosier country. While the first two artists had long careers, Montgomery wasn't so lucky. This self-taught genius, who burst onto the national scene in 1958, was felled by a fatal heart only a decade later.In ten short years, Montgomery delivered a string of classic recordings that ...