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A Day In the Life

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iTunes Review

Of all the pop-oriented orchestral albums Wes Montgomery recorded for Verve in the latter stage of his career, A Day In the Life offers the widest spectrum of material. Montgomery’s guitar was such a pristine musical voice that no song on which it is featured is disposable, but “Watch What Happens” and “California Nights” are about as transparent as anything Montgomery took on. He does better when he has a stellar melody in which to sink his teeth, as on “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Windy,” the last of which became Montgomery’s biggest hit. As usual the album contains some superlative mood pieces like “Angel,” in which Montgomery’s guitar lines simply twirl and melt into a featherbed of Don Sebesky strings. Still, nothing on the album is quite on par with the title song. Montgomery’s reading of the Lennon-McCartney masterwork is not only one of the finest Beatles covers. It is a career performance that slyly adopts sharp-edged funk without missing the apocalyptic undercurrent of the era. The brooding and the beautiful are rarely so closely intertwined.

Customer Reviews

A true artist

This album, though somewhat tainted by the syrupy, overbearing violin segments, is still a wonderful record of the outstanding guitar of Wes Montgomery. I only wish there were a version available with the violins removed... that would be a truly great album. If you love jazz guitar, you have to have this album, violins or not. The guitar work is truly exceptional.

Wes Montgomery: Genius

This is a very good cd, nothing else to say. A day in the Life is his best album, and it is the best song on this album.

A Day in the Life: Wes Montgomery

This is a fabulous album I first bought in 1969 on vinyl. What was then a marketing ploy to take the already established jazz great Montgomery and have him rif on the popular rock tunes of the time has left a trove of classics played by a master.


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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