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Verve Jazz Masters 14: Wes Montgomery

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Editors’ Notes

Wes Montgomery’s tenure at Verve lasted from 1964 to the guitarist’s death in 1968, the period in his career that jazz purists love to hate. Producer Creed Taylor paired Montgomery with a series of arrangers who supplied his music with lush orchestration as the guitarist worked his way through a repertoire of pop hits, schmaltzy standards, Brazilian tributes, and a handful of brilliant originals. Verve brought Montgomery his greatest commercial successes, but it would be a mistake to view these songs as hollow sell-outs. Even if these recordings don’t adhere to the doctrines of the hard-bop contingent, they maintain an entirely different kind of beauty, one predicated on atmosphere and tone more than hard-blowing virtuosity. Seduction is the imperative term when addressing “Goin’ Out of My Head,” “My One and Only Love” and “The Shadow of Your Smile.” Even when Montgomery took on the roadhouse schlock of “Tequila” he turned it into an exercise in gentle persuasion. The twin towers in this set are undoubtedly “Bumpin’” and “Bumpin’ on Sunset.” Purely, simply, and very deeply, these are elegant ghetto anthems of the highest order.

Customer Reviews

Very Smooth!

This album is for grown ups only. The softness of Bumpin' on the Sunset makes you feel like you are on the beach somewhere where the sun is setting with your special someone having an intimate dinner and engaging in a spontaneous dance. This album is so beautiful that you can pour yourself a bottle of wine and just CHILL.

Wes the Best

His music is smooth and groovy, yes I said groovy. It makes you want to dance. His playing is unique and very bossa nova like rhythm. Just awesome


Born: March 6, 1923 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Wes Montgomery was one of the great jazz guitarists, a natural extension of Charlie Christian, whose appealing use of octaves became influential and his trademark. He achieved great commercial success during his last few years, only to die prematurely. It had taken Wes a long time to become an overnight success. He started to teach himself guitar in 1943 (using his thumb rather than a pick) and toured with Lionel Hampton during 1948-1950; he can be heard on a few broadcasts from the period. But...
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