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Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides

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Album Review

The two-CD set Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sessions salvages Wes Montgomery's straight jazz sessions for Verve, leaving the pop-oriented covers and orchestral sessions to the original albums. There are selected numbers from albums like Movin' Wes, Goin' Out of My Head and California Dreaming, illustrating that those albums were hardly worthless — each track proves that Montgomery's touch remained elegant and supremely tasteful. The second disc is devoted to the complete sessions for Smokin' at the Half Note, the legendary recording Montgomery made at Van Gelder Studios in 1965 with bassist Paul Chambers, pianist Wynton Kelly and drummer Jimmy Cobb. The music on the record is easily among Montgomery's finest, and this is the first time that all the music from the sessions has been collected in one place. That alone makes it worthwhile for hardcore collectors, but the set also makes an excellent summation of his Verve years for less dedicated fans, since it rounds up his very best work on one attractive set.

Customer Reviews

This is the standard-bearer

Wes Montgomery is THE man when it comes to jazz guitar. Anyone playing now will acknowledge Wes as being their major influence. He has a sound and techniquire like no other. He can swing, groove, play up-tempo, down-tempo. Very versatile. This album is a good cross-section of his work and captures key recordings, such as his masterful set at the Half-Note with the Wynton Kelly Trio, as well as great sessions with Jimmy Smith and some of his better orchestrated recordings as well. If you like jazz guitar, this is the place to start. Pay particular attention to tracks 1 and 11


Born: March 06, 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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Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides, Wes Montgomery
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  • $19.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Apr 18, 1995

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