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Movin' Wes

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Album Review

Wes Montgomery's debut for Verve, although better from a jazz standpoint than his later A&M releases, is certainly in the same vein. The emphasis is on his tone, his distinctive octaves, and his melody statements. Some of the material (such as "People" and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker") are pop tunes of the era and the brass orchestra (arranged by Johnny Pate) is purely in the background, but there are some worthy performances, chiefly the two-part "Movin' Wes," "Born to Be Blue," and "West Coast Blues."

Customer Reviews

Movin' Wes

I recently read one of the many reviews concerning Wes Montgomery's work on A&M, specifically the fact that he and the producers choose some pop tunes and large bands or orchestras for backround. As a guitarist I have taken exception to these reviews, mainly because in the past the people who write the reviews usually don't play any kind of instrument at all, and secondly they all feel that some how if a guitarist is not playing with a trio or quartet somehow his music is degraded and less than appropriate. Wes Montgomery could play the "Happy Birthday Song" with the Chicago Synphony Orchestra and it would be worth preserving in the Smithsonian. The man was simply without a doubt one of the greaest jazz guitarist of the late 20th century. If you don't care for big band arrangements with Wes out front, so be it, but do us all a favor and keep it to yourself. A lot of people were and have been turned on to Wes and jazz in general because of those "Insipid" pop songs...Let's just enjoy the great music of a genius who left us way to soon.


Amen to Macuser2. He's absolutely correct. Wes was the best, and I have listened since the mid-sixties to this and all of his recordings, and I'm still listening. Some, Kenny Burrell and Grant Green, for instance, come close, but nobody tops Wes.


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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