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Wes Montgomery's Finest Hour

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Album Review

As part of the Finest Hour series from Verve, guitarist Wes Montgomery is spotlighted on 16 tracks recorded between 1964 and his death in 1968. These sessions highlight the widely accepted jazz-pop combination he achieved on these Verve and A&M releases, which followed a four-year stint on Riverside where he attracted a limited, mainly jazz audience. The guitarist employed a winning formula that combined his straight-ahead jazz style while exploring current trends in pop music that encompassed Latin, funk, and string-laden arrangements. The impressive coverage of guest musicians includes Herbie Hancock, Ray Barretto, Ron Carter, Jimmy Smith, and Clark Terry.


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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