Jazz legend WES MONTGOMERY has been well served by the reissue labels. Most of his major work is easily accessible. However, there’s not a lot of available material highlighting his early, formative years. Resonance Records are about to remedy that with the release of a 2 CD/3 LP set that focuses on the guitar virtuoso’s beginnings in the business.
Imaginatively titled ‘WES MONTGOMERY. IN THE BEGINNING’, the 26 track selection covers the 1949-1958 period when Montgomery was honing his craft in Southern Indiana. The CD version includes a 55 page booklet with contributions from jazz writer Ashley Khan, uber producer Quincy Jones and Who guitarist Pete Townshend. The LP version comes on 3 12″ 180 gram vinyl records, mastered by engineering legend Bernie Grundeman. The pack contains a digital download card and collector postcards but it’s limited to just 1,500 units.
The music on the set is wide-ranging. It features home recordings, live cuts (from the Indianapolis Missile Lounge and Chicago’s C&C Music Lounge) and studio cuts – some produced by a young Quincy Jones. Amongst the side men are Melvin Rhyne, Flip Stewart and Pookie Johnson.