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Wes Montgomery

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (where he also died of a heart attack in 1968), Montgomery came from a musical family, in which his brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone, and piano), were jazz performers. Although Wes was not skilled at reading music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery started learning guitar in his late teens, listening to and learning recordings of his idol, the guitarist Charlie Christian. Along with the use of octaves (playing the same note on two strings one octave apart) for which he is widely known, Montgomery was also an excellent "single-line" or "single-note" player, and was very influential in the use of block chords in his solos

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jimmy Cobb: We're Remembering U

Read "Jimmy Cobb: We're Remembering U" reviewed by Scott H. Thompson

Drummer Jimmy Cobb was a 91-year old NEA Jazz Master who was (until recently) still playing hard and keeping the groove with his trio consisting of Tadataka Unno on piano and Paolo Benedettini on drums. Remembering U (his 12th album as a leader and first release on his own Jimmy Cobb World label) was released in ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Piano

Read "Piano" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Following his debut as a leader on, Wynton Kelly: New Faces -New Sounds (Blue Note, 1951), pianist Kelly surfaced again some seven years later, this time on Riverside Records, with the simply titled Piano. The length of time between leader recordings is a testament to the pianist's value in a supporting role for artists like Dinah ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jocelyn Gould: Elegant Traveler

Read "Elegant Traveler" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Guitarist Jocelyn Gould opens her debut album, Elegant Wanderer, with a cooker: Cole Porter's “It's All Right With Me." The tune is artfully arranged for quartet—piano and guitar with bass and drums—and Gould displays some serious chops. She has soaked up the influences of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell and Joe Pass, and she wears ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rob Luft: Life Is The Dancer

Read "Life Is The Dancer" reviewed by Chris May

British guitarist Rob Luft's debut album, Riser (Edition, 2017), was greeted with huge acclaim. Some observers likened his arrival to the emergence of Wes Montgomery or Pat Metheny. The music world is used to hyperbole, but for once the praise is justified. For anyone yet to hear Luft, a useful yardstick is the pianist Bill Evans: ...

Bite-Sized Morsels

Read "Bite-Sized Morsels" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In among the more usual full-length offerings (arguably one ideal standard for collections of music), it's also good not to overlook the appeal of servings in smaller sizes... Larry Tamanini Front & Center Outer Marker2020 Somewhere at the intersection of urbane contemporary and old-time retro lies a sweet spot ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Soul Jazz Guitar of Montgomery, Burrell and Green (1960 - 1965)

Read "The Soul Jazz Guitar of Montgomery, Burrell and Green (1960 - 1965)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Hard bop created a comfortable setting for a suite of great blues-influenced guitar players who led the way toward soul jazz. Several of these players were from the mid-west -Wes Montgomery from Indianapolis, Grant Green from St. Louis and Detroit's Kenny Burrell. The next three hours of Jazz at 100 will present music from the 1960s ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker

Read "How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker" reviewed by Peter Rubie

I was talking to a musician friend of mine the other day, asking her how her move from Brooklyn to Forrest Hills was going. She said, “I love it! I love the neighborhood and best of all, musically, I'm not running any more jam sessions at the moment, just doing gigs—and practicing! It's great."

ARTICLE: RADIO

BIG January Birthday Salutes!

Read "BIG January Birthday Salutes!" reviewed by Marc Cohn

BIG, I mean BIG January birthday salutes on Gifts & Messages this week: 120th birth anniversary for trombonists Juan Tizol and Wilbur De Paris; 110th for Django Reinhardt; 100th for vocalist Betty Roché and saxophonist Jimmy Forrest; 90th for saxophonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist/vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery. And special birthday greetings to bassist Eberhard ...


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