One of the most important figures in jazz and greatest guitarists in any genre was Wes Montgomery. He died in 1968 at age 45 of a heart attack and cut short an amazing career. Despite getting started in the late 1940’s with th eLionel Hampton orchestra, he left the band and returned home to Indianapolis to start a family, and recorded only once between 1950 and 1957, making his first recordings as a leader in 1959 … or so it was thought!
Next week we get a look at never before released recordings that Montgomery made in 1957 and 1958 in Indianapolis as a leader. There are four tracks recorded live, and five from studio sessions. Here are some details:
With a lot of sleuthing and a team of experts on the case, long lost tapes of Wes Montgomery have been discovered and restored. Resonance Records will release Echoes of Indiana Avenue – the first full album of previously unheard Montgomery music in over 25 years – on March 6, 2012, which would have been Montgomery’s 88th birthday. Over a year and a half in the making, the release will provide a rare, revealing glimpse of a bona fide guitar legend. The tapes are the earliest known recordings of Montgomery as a leader, pre-dating his auspicious 1959 debut on Riverside Records. The album showcases Montgomery in performance from 1957-1958 at nightclubs in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as rare studio recordings. The release is also beautifully packaged, containing previously unseen photographs and insightful essays by noted music writers and musicians alike, including guitarist Pat Martino and Montgomery’s brothers Buddy and Monk.
Here is the track list:
01. Diablo’s Dance
02. Round Midnight
03. Straight No Chaser
04. Nica’s Dream
05. Darn That Dream
06. Take the A Train
08. Body and Soul
09. After Hours Blues (Improvisation)
Resonance records has a fascinating trailer about the finding, identifying and eventual release of the material:
Head to Resonance Records for more details, or to Amazon.com to pre-order!