Photo credits: Riverside/OJC
The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery is a full-length music album by the late Wes Montgomery, a legendary jazz guitarist.
He recorded the album (released by Riverside Records/OJC) from January 26th to the 28th in 1960 at Reeves Studios in New York City, New York. The majority of its tunes demonstrate two of Montgomery’s signature tools, which were “thumb picking” and his utilization of octaves.
Orrin Keepnews, the founder of Riverside Records, produced Wes Montgomery’s classic 1960 jazz album. The U.S. Library of Congress included the album in the National Recording Registry in 2017, calling the record “culturally, historically, and artistically significant.”
Jazz music fans and reviewers in the media who cover the genre see the album as the zenith of Montgomery’s recorded studio work. The Penguin Guide to Jazz included it in its recommended “Core Collection” reading list. Michael G. Nastos of AllMusic lauded the album, stating:
“Setting him apart from the rest, this recording established Montgomery as the most formidable modern guitarist of the era, and eventually it’s most influential…Montgomery is clearly talented beyond convention, consistently brilliant, and indeed incredible in the company of his sidemen, and this recording—an essential addition to every jazz guitarist fan’s collection—put him on the map.”
Writer Chris May of All About Jazz commented of the CD reissue:
“The Incredible Jazz Guitar burst onto the US scene in 1960 like a benign hurricane, and it still sounds like a gale almost 50 years later… Montgomery—empathetically accompanied by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Percy Heath (then riding high with the Modern Jazz Quartet), and drummer Albert Heath—makes the guitar sound like it never had before. It has sounded similar since, of course, thanks to the legion of Montgomery-influenced players, but rarely so close to perfection…The Incredible Jazz Guitar endures, and will continue to do so.”
Listen to the full album titled The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery right here.