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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Three Classic Albums Plus

Avid AMSC 1027



The Wes Montgomery Trio
1. `Round Midnight
2. Yesterdays
3. The End Of A Love Affair
4. Whisper Not
5. Ecaroh
6. Satin Doll
7. Missile Blues
8. Too Late Now
9. Jingles
10. Monk's Shop
11. Summertime
12. Falling In Love With Love
13. Renie
14. Far Wes
15. Leila
16. Old Folks
17. Wes' Tune

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
1. Airegin
2. D-Natural Blues
3. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
4. Four On Six
5. West Coast Blues
6. In Your Own Sweet Way
7. Mister Walker
8. Gone With The Wind
Movin' Along
9. Movin' Along
10. Tune-Up
11. Ghost Of A Chance
12. Body And Soul
13. So Do It!
14. Says You

Tracks I/1-9
Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Melvyn Rhyne - Organ
Paul Parker - Drums

Tracks I/10-17
Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Monk Montgomery - Electric bass
Buddy Montgomery - Drums
Pony Poindexter - Alto sax (tracks 10-13)
Louis Hayes - Drums (tracks 10-13)
Harold Land - Tenor sax (tracks 14-17)
Tony Bazely - Drums (tracks 14-17)

Tracks II/1-8
Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Tommy Flanagan - Piano
Percy Heath - Bass
Albert Heath - Drums

Tracks II/9-14
Wes Montgomery - Guitar, bass guitar
James Clay - Flute, tenor sax (tracks 9, 10, 12, 13)
Victor Feldman - Piano
Sam Jones - Bass
Louis Hayes - Drums


Wes Montgomery was a prolific recording artist, as this compilation shows. It is the second such collection that Avid has produced - the first being last year's Three Classic Albums. This new double album contains the tracks from three LPs and all but one track from Movin' Along. These recordings date from 1958 to 1960 - the period when Wes was purely a jazz artist, before he widened his audience by becoming almost an easy-listening performer with such hits as Goin' Out of my Head.

The first nine tracks come from The Wes Montgomery Trio, which placed Wes in a coinventional organ trio. The group mainly plays jazz standards, with two originals (Missile Blues and Jingles) by Montgomery. Melvin Rhyne was basically a pianist "who had fooled around with organ some", which may explain his delicate, understated playing, which lets us hear Wes Montgomery's eloquent solos. The opening 'Round Midnight is a perfect example of Wes's ability to vary his sound with generous chords and octaves. This lifts these tracks above the traditional norm for organ trios.

The rest of the first CD puts Wes with his talented brothers - pianist Buddy and bassist Monk Montgomery, who - like Wes - were both self-taught. The LP Montgomeryland actually consisted of two sessions recorded in April 1958 and October 1959, with different saxists and drummers. As well as Wes, the stars of these sessions are tenorist Harold Land and pianist Buddy Montgomery. The solos on Old Folks are particularly moving.

The first eight tracks on the second CD come from The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, which backed Wes simply with a three-piece rhythm section led by pianist Tommy Flanagan. The tunes include two Montgomery compositions which have understandably become jazz standards: Four On Six and West Coast Blues.

Movin' Along backs Wes with Cannonball Adderley's rhythm section plus the mellow sound of James Clay on flute and tenor sax. Wes actually plays the bass guitar on Tune-Up and Body and Soul, deepening his tone. All the tracks on these CDs have been remastered, although there are still a few fuzzy sections. Like all these Avid compilations, this album is a bargain to snap up before it disappears from the shops.

Tony Augarde

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