Wynton Kelly & Wes Montgomery

Wynton Kelly & Wes Montgomery


Wynton Kelly & Wes Montgomery : Smokin' at The Half Note

Wynton Kelly (piano), Wes Montgomery (guitar), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)

Recorded in 1965

Verve 8633

Analogue Productions Records : 2 LPs 180 gram (45rpm)

Limited Edition : 2,500 printings

Brand New and Sealed Record

Discontinued : last copy available!...

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1 - No Blues
2 - If You Could See Me Now
3 - Unit 7
4 - Four On Six
5 - What's New

Recorded June 1965 at The Half Note Club in New York City and September 22, 1965 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Englewood, New Jersey.

Montgomery had performed numerous times previously with Kelly, and the trio of Kelly, Chambers, and Cobb had appeared on previous Montgomery albums for Riverside Records such as Bags Meets Wes and Full House. In the summer of 1965 the quartet toured the major jazz clubs in the US and also appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival on the afternoon of Sunday, July 4. Drummer Jimmy Cobb had previously toured briefly with Montgomery in an organ trio with Melvin Rhyne in 1963.[1]

Only two of the original LP's five tracks were recorded at the Half Note -"No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now." At the behest of producer Creed Taylor, the other three were re-recorded three months later at Rudy Van Gelder's studio.

An American jazz critic once said that Wes Montgomery was the "best thing that could happen to a guitar." Grand words, one might say quickly racking one's brains to come up with other great names. But after only a few minutes of listening to this live recording made in 1965 at the Half Note in New York, you will forget your brain-storming and concentrate on the unfused performance of this brilliant guitarist and the superb Wynton Kelly Trio. The music which gets down to the nitty-gritty, is always cool and straight with no fuss or frills getting in the way; the message comes over clearly--and it makes the blood surge through one's veins!

This is timeless music that has inspired innumerable jazz guitarists and aficionados. In fact, jazz guitar great Pat Metheny has said, "I learned to play listening to Wes Montgomery's Smokin' At The Half Note." Metheny additionally said that the solo on "If You Could See Me Now" is his favorite of all time.