Wes Montgomery: Full House – Live At Tsubo, Berkeley, California – Riverside

by | Jul 23, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Wes Montgomery: Full House – Live At Tsubo, Berkeley, California –  Riverside Keepnews Collection RCD-30129-2, 80 mins. *****:

(Wes Montgomery, guitar; Johnny Griffin, tenor sax; Wynton Kelly, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums)

Another classic selection from the Keepnews Collection, Wes Montgomery’s ‘Full House’ is the first album that many feel introduced the real Wes Montgomery to the record-buying public. Wes, it seems early on, was relatively inhibited in the studio, but was an incredible live act. This date jelled in 1962, when producer Orrin Keepnews realized that Miles Davis was playing San Francisco, and his rhythm section would be available for a few days. Adding in sax player Johnny Griffin rounded out the proceedings. Many jazz artists (Cannonball Adderley among them) and Indianapolis locals who’d had the opportunity to see Wes live were greatly enamored with his pickless style of playing, and this disc finally gave the rest of the world and opportunity to experience the magic.

The playing on this disc is nothing short of superb from everyone; it’s truly amazing, and almost unique to the jazz idiom, where artists from such disparate backgrounds can come together with limited rehearsal time and create music that sounds so incredibly totally formed. And Wes Montgomery proves that he is indeed the “Incredible Jazz Guitar!” Sound quality is superb, especially for such a vintage live date. Orrin Keepnews’ liner notes are truly enlightening and entertaining, and offer an unusual glimpse into the lives and inner workings of jazz artists and the making of classic recordings. As a real bonus, the disc includes five bonus tracks that bring the playing time to a whopping eighty minutes! Very highly recommended!

TrackList: Full House; I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face; Blue ‘n’ Boogie; Cariba; Come Rain Or Come Shine; S.O.S.; plus 5 Bonus Tracks.

– Tom Gibbs

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