This album does not shine for its sound quality; it is assumed that the original recordings were not made under optimal technical conditions. However, regardless of this, it is a rare document primarily aimed at jazz and guitar enthusiasts or students who will find an endless source of ideas to refine their art. And if you purchase this album, you will find even more things that will allow you to closely study the music of Wes Montgomery. These previously unreleased recordings from 1965 at the Half Note constitute the first official release of the complete recordings of the jazz guitar giant Wes Montgomery with the Wynton Kelly Trio at the famous Half Note jazz club in New York in 1965, accompanied by drummer Jimmy Cobb and bassists Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Herman Wright, and Larry Ridley. Spanning over 2 hours of original radio broadcasts with host Alan Grant, this luxurious 2-CD set is mastered by Matthew Lutthans and comes with a multi-page booklet containing unpublished photos taken at the Half Note by Raymond Ross, as well as a new essay by acclaimed journalist and author Bill Milkowski. Interviews with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter, both of whom recorded with Wes, as well as guitar icons Bill Frisell and Mike Stern, and bassist Marcus Miller, Wynton Kelly’s cousin, complete the package! The year 2023 marks the centenary of Wes Montgomery’s birth (March 6, 1923), and this is Resonance’s seventh release of his recordings in collaboration with his estate. Wes Montgomery fans can finally listen to the rest of the music from the Half Note that hasn’t been broadcast on radio for nearly 60 years.
Clearly, this album is a subject of study; it will serve both jazz teachers and their students. The included documents can also serve as a source for reflections and debates. This is particularly important today, as this era is distant and one of the most beautiful sources that led many musicians to today’s jazz. Another way to think about and approach music, a heritage to preserve, are all things that make up the humans of tomorrow and their ability to embrace the culture of the world. To this end, I encourage you to visit Wes Montgomery’s official website, where the introduction to his biography states: Universally recognized as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of jazz, Wes Montgomery practically defined modern jazz guitar during the 1950s and 60s. His unique idiomatic conception of the instrument and the power of his solo playing have influenced generations of musicians who followed him; guitar icons such as George Benson, Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, and Russell Malone, illustrating the importance of this musician and composer, who has become a “classic” over time. As you know on Bayou Blue Radio, we love to protect and promote the memory of jazz, whether through the music we broadcast or through our articles created thanks to a very large network of talented broadcasters. This album will be broadcast as part of a future show but not in our general programming due to the sound quality not being suitable for FM broadcasting. The editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move still find this to be an “Essential.”
PARIS-MOVE, November 17th 2023