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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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WES MONTGOMERY

Boss Guitar

RIVERSIDE ORIGINAL JAZZ CLASSICS OJC 0888072323308

 

 


Besame Mucho - takes 1 and 2
Dearly Beloved
Days Of Wine And Roses
The Trick Bag - takes 1 and 6
Canadian Sunset
Fried Pies - take 1 and 2
The Breeze And I
For Heaven's Sake
Wes Montgomery (guitar); Mel Rhyne (Hammond B-3 organ); Jimmy Cobb (drums)

rec. Plaza Sound Studios, NYC, 22 April 1963 .

 

In one of his last Riverside sessions Wes Montgomery teamed up with Mel Rhyne and Miles Davis alumnus Jimmy Cobb for this April 1963 session produced by Orin Keepnews in New York City. Nearly fifty years have passed, but its potency is unrelieved and its variety of material and mood still impresses.

The cohesive Latino workout that is Besame Mucho gets us off to an avuncular, rhythmic start. Montgomery, as is well known, came to the guitar late, but his facility and fluency are really exceptional and a track such as Dearly Beloved reveals those qualities in all their glory. With Rhyne's probing Hammond comping behind him, and with Cobb keeping fine time, energetically propulsive, this is an especially representative track of the group at its finest. Still, whatever mood they evoke, there's always something exciting, whether it's the laid back romance of Days Of Wine And Roses or the funky The Trick Bag which does indeed have its tricky moments - and despite Rhyne's comments about his own limitations on the Hammond B-3 he certainly acquits himself well in his rather nasal-sounding solo.

Canadian Sunset is clean-limbed with elegance and lightly-textured writing, and some witty flourishes as well, whilst The Breeze And I is a relaxed up-tempo swinger. All these tracks pay witness to Montgomery's accommodation of popular song, roots feeling and sheer digital superiority. The three alternative takes included as bonus tracks simply amplify both his consistency and also the splendid cohesion generated by the trio.

In resplendent sound quality with new sleeve notes and a reproduction of the original LP notes, this is mandatory purchase for Montgomery admirers, should they not have a copy.

Jonathan Woolf

 

See an additional review by Pierre Giroux

 



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