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The Alternative Wes Montgomery

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Album Review

This CD has 12 "alternate" versions of songs recorded in a variety of settings by guitarist Wes Montgomery during his period with Riverside. Montgomery's sidemen include tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, organist Mel Rhyne, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, the flute of James Clay, pianists Wynton Kelly, Buddy Montgomery, and Victor Feldman and (on "Tune Up") a string section. The two-LP set that this succeeded actually had two additional selections; all of the material is also available in more definitive form on Montgomery's 12-CD box set. In any case, the mistakes and flaws (such as they are) are minor on these performances, and this CD gives one a good introduction into Montgomery's early recordings.


Born: 06 March 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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