The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery

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The Incredible Jazz Guitar
of Wes Montgomery
Studio album by Wes Montgomery
Released 1960
Recorded January 26–27, 1960 at Reeves Sound Studios, New York City
Genre Jazz
Length 44:04
Label Riverside/OJC
Producer Orrin Keepnews
Wes Montgomery chronology
The Wes Montgomery Trio
(1959)
The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
(1960)
Movin' Along
(1960)

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery is the fourth album by American jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. Most of its tracks are considered to be the best examples of Wes Montgomery's two distinguishing techniques - "thumb picking" and the use of octaves.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
All About Jazz (no rating)[2]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz (no rating)[3]

The album is considered by many fans and critics to be the pinnacle of Montgomery's recorded studio work. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection", calling it "probably the best Montgomery record currently available".[3]

Writing for Allmusic, music critic Michael G. Nastos praised the album, writing: "Setting him apart from the rest, this recording established Montgomery as the most formidable modern guitarist of the era, and eventually its most influential... He plays forcefully but never overtly so on the bop tracks, offering up his trademark delicacy on the laid-back "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and easy-as-pie "Gone with the Wind." Montgomery is clearly talented beyond convention, consistently brilliant, and indeed incredible in the company of his sidemen, and this recording -- an essential addition to every jazz guitarist fan's collection—put him on the map."[1]

Of the CD reissue, critic Chris May of All About Jazz wrote: "The Incredible Jazz Guitar burst onto the US scene in 1960 like a benign hurricane, and it still sounds like a gale almost 50 years later... Montgomery—empathetically accompanied by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Percy Heath (then riding high with the Modern Jazz Quartet), and drummer Albert Heath—makes the guitar sound like it never had before. It has sounded similar since, of course, thanks to the legion of Montgomery-influenced players, but rarely so close to perfection.... The Incredible Jazz Guitar endures, and will continue to do so."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Airegin" (Sonny Rollins) – 4:26
  2. "D-Natural Blues" (Wes Montgomery) – 5:23
  3. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" (Burke, VanHeusen) – 4:44
  4. "Four on Six" (Montgomery) – 6:15
  5. "West Coast Blues" (Montgomery) – 7:26
  6. "In Your Own Sweet Way" (Dave Brubeck) – 4:53
  7. "Mr. Walker" (Montgomery) – 4:33
  8. "Gone With the Wind" (Magidson, Wrubel) – 6:24
  • Songs 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, NYC, January 26, 1960
  • Songs 3, 7, and 8 recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, NYC, January 28, 1960

Riverside RLP 12-320, RLP 1169; Fantasy OJC 036, OJCCD 036-2

Personnel[edit]

Production notes:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nastos, Michael G. "The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b May, Chris. "The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery > Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. "Wes Montgomery". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 933. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.