CD review: Wes Montgomery

Boss Guitar
Riverside/ Original Jazz Classics Remasters 0888072323308

A classic organ trio album with Wes joined by Mel Rhyne on Hammond B3 and Jimmy Cobb on drums. The original session was produced by Orin Keepnews at Plaza Sound Studios in New York in 1963, and its lovely warm sound and bright textures are further enhanced by a some 24-bit remastering.

The opener is a fast waltz version of Besame Mucho. I’m wondering how many different versions of this tune I can accommodate in my CD collection and have come to the conclusion that the number could be infinite. That 6/8 time adds a fresh feel to it and the players all have fun, Wes soloing first, then Rhyne. Cobb bubbles underneath keeping the whole thing tripping nicely. There’s an alternative version of the track, too, along with two extra takes of other tracks to fill out the CD space.

And other tracks include a sumptuous Days Of Wine And Roses, a bracing The Breeze And I and a ripsnorter of a Dearly Beloved, as well as cooking Montgomery originals like Fried Pies and The Trick Bag.

If organ trios are your thing, or you don’t have much Wes in your collection, this is a must. Come to think of it, even if neither of the aforementioned criteria applies, this should still please you.

Interestingly, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD marked this down slightly for having a flat sound. I reckon the remastering has sorted that out.

Categories: CD review

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