Sound Quality: Lossless
Year Released: 1965
Album Covers: Included
About Wes Montgomery
John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (6 March 1925 - 15 June 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is generally considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including Pat Martino and Pat Metheny.
Montgomery was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He came from a musical family; his brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone and piano), were jazz performers. Although he was not skilled at reading music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery started learning guitar at the age of 19, listening to and learning recordings of his idol, the guitarist Charlie Christian. He was known for his ability to play Christian solos note for note and was hired by Lionel Hampton for this ability.
Montgomery is often considered the greatest of modern jazz guitarists. Following the early work of swing/pre-bop guitarist Charlie Christian and gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Wes arguably put guitar on the map as a bebop or post-bop instrument. Although Johnny Smith was the guitarist in the original New York Bebop scene, and both Tal Farlow and Jimmy Raney made significant contributions in the 1950's to bebop guitar, each of these men curtailed their own output in the 1960s, creating a vacuum that Montgomery naturally filled with virtuousic playing. While many Jazz players are regarded as virtuosos, Montgomery was unique in his wide influence on other virtuosos who followed him, and in the respect he earned from his contemporaries. To many, Montgomery's playing defines jazz guitar and the sound that many try to emulate.
Montgomery toured with Lionel Hampton early in his career, however the combined stress of touring and being away from family brought him back home to Indianapolis. To support his family of eight, Montgomery worked in a factory from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, then performed in local clubs from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am. Cannonball Adderley heard Montgomery in an Indianapolis club and was floored. The next morning, he called record producer Orrin Keepnews, who signed Montgomery to a recording contract with Riverside Records. Adderly later recorded with Montgomery on his Pollwinners album. Montgomery recorded with his brothers and various other group members, including the Wynton Kelly Trio which previously backed up Miles Davis.
John Coltrane asked Montgomery to join his band after a jam session, but Montgomery continued to lead his own band. Boss Guitar seems to refer to his status as a guitar-playing bandleader. He also made contributions to recordings by Jimmy Smith. Jazz purists relish Montgomery's recordings up through 1965, and sometimes complain that he abandoned hard-bop for pop jazz towards the end of his career, although it is arguable that he gained a wider audience for his earlier work with his soft jazz from 1965-1968. During this late period he would occasionally turn out original material alongside jazzy orchestral arrangements of pop songs. In sum, this late period earned him considerable wealth and created a platform for a new audience to hear his earlier recordings.
Wes Montgomery died of a heartattack on June 15, 1968 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
About Wynton Kelly
Wynton Kelly (December 2, 1931 – April 12, 1971) was a Jamaican-born jazz pianist, who spent his career in the United States. He is perhaps best known for working with trumpeter Miles Davis from 1959-1962.
Son of Jamaican immigrants, Kelly was born in Jamaica, and started his professional career as a teenager, initially as a member of R&B groups. After working with Lee Abrams, Cecil Payne, Dinah Washington and Dizzy Gillespie, he was a member of Miles Davis' Quintet from 1959 to 1963. He appears on Davis' seminal 1959 album Kind of Blue, replacing Bill Evans on the track "Freddie Freeloader". He likewise appears on a single track from John Coltrane's Giant Steps, replacing Tommy Flanagan on "Naima".
He recorded 14 titles for Blue Note in a trio (1951), and worked with Washington, Gillespie, and Lester Young during 1951-1952. After serving in the military, he worked with Washington (1955–1957), Charles Mingus (1956–1957), and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band (1957), but he would be most famous for his stint with Miles Davis (1959–1963), recording such albums with him as Kind of Blue, At the Blackhawk, and Someday My Prince Will Come. When he left Davis, Kelly took the rest of the rhythm section (bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb) with him to form his trio.
Kelly recorded as a leader for Blue Note, Riverside Records, Vee-Jay, Verve, and Milestone. Kelly had a daughter, Tracy, in 1963, with partner Anne. The track, "Little Tracy", from the LP Comin' in the Back Door, is named after Kelly's daughter. Tracy Matisak is a now a Philadelphia television personality.
Kelly's second cousin, bassist Marcus Miller, also performed with Miles Davis in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kelly died in Toronto, Canada, from an epileptic seizure in April 1971.