Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    This book is a thoroughly researched study of a number of players involved in the hard bop movement, and the chapter on Wes has some stuff I've never read before, although some of it is taken from second and third sources, like this quote from Wes back in 1965:
    "The ofay cat has the technical facility, and the Negro has the feeling for jazz. But take an instrument like guitar. In every part of the world, white cats would pick it up 500 or 600 years ago, and they had all that time to get ready. The Negro had to wait for it to be dropped in his lap 50 years ago, but after a while, he was playing it and getting a whole lot of feeling out of it. But he couldn't get that technical facility. An in fact, I've never heard a coloured guitar player who could come up to the technical standards of some of the great white guitarists. For that reason, I don't bother too much about the technical side of the guitar. I just concentrate on feeling."

    Concerning octaves:
    "He told Ralph Gleason that "paying octaves was just a coincidence" and laterclaimed in an interview in on TV in 1968that he discovered the possiblities when he "ran a scale accidently" in octaves when tuning up (the interview was included in audio form on "Live at Jorgies and More", the second of two live albums featuring music dating from 1961, which were posthuously released on the small VGM label."

    "According to Adrian Ingram's count in "Wes Montgomery" the guitarist composed 45 tunes in all.'

    "He held Coltrane in high esteem, and one of his final unfinished recordings was a version "My Favourite Things"
    I was never aware that Melvin Rhyne cut his own album back in 1960, on Riverside's Jazzland imprint, with Johnny Griffin and Blue Mitchell.

    The book said that only two cuts from "Smokin' at the Half Note" were recorded live, "No Blues" and "If yYou Could See Me Now". The rest were recorded in the studio at Rudy van Gelder's, three months later. Other recordings from the Half Note were recorded on the "Willow Weep For Me album, with horns added on later. The complete Half Note recordings were released on "The Verve Small Group Recordings", a double LP in 1976, and later on "Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides", a double cd whichappeared in 1995.

    On "California Dreamin'', Al casamente and Bucky Pizzarelli played rhythm guitars.
    The book stated that Montgomery expressed disquiet over his commercial albums (from reports by musicians and critics), because live audiences increasingly demand note for note re-hashing of the recorded versions, thereby denying him the compensation of cutting loose on live dates which had marked his Verve period."
    He maintained that his late studio work was pop rather than jazz.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    thanks s...good stuff...will have to look into that book


    cheers

    ps- the '61 interview of wes by ralph j gleason...always a good read


    Jazz Profiles: Wes Montgomery - the 1961 Ralph J. Gleason Interview
    Last edited by neatomic; 11-09-2019 at 06:26 PM.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I think I read the first quote in Adrian Ingram's book on him.

    regarding the Rhyne lp, it's kind of odd. Gene Harris plays piano and Rhyne doesn't play much on it, I can see why he was one and done as a leader back then, and honestly I wasn't a big fan of his playing on Wes' lps.
    but he staged a comeback in the 90's and his playing had gotten much better imo, I believe he released at least a dozen more recordings and appeared on about that many as a sideman as well.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I think I read the first quote in Adrian Ingram's book on him.

    regarding the Rhyne lp, it's kind of odd. Gene Harris plays piano and Rhyne doesn't play much on it, I can see why he was one and done as a leader back then, and honestly I wasn't a big fan of his playing on Wes' lps.
    but he staged a comeback in the 90's and his playing had gotten much better imo, I believe he released at least a dozen more recordings and appeared on about that many as a sideman as well.
    He was a weird guy. A sax player I know used to play with him some place out west, probably Indianapolis. One day they were sitting in a laundromat, watching the clothes washer. All of a sudden, Rhyne said, "With the power of my mind, I can make that washer levitate into the air."
    He started concentrating, but nothing happened. Then he said that he chose not to do it at that time.
    He was into Scientology.
    Some of the chord subs that he did with Wes were very hip. They could have been his, because Wes would play the same tune on another album/live performance, and the pianist would play the standard changes. Then again, Wes could have told MR what changes to play.
    We'll never know.
    Thanks for telling me about his first LP. Sounds like it's not too good.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    thanks s...good stuff...will have to look into that book


    cheers

    ps- the '61 interview of wes by ralph j gleason...always a good read


    Jazz Profiles: Wes Montgomery - the 1961 Ralph J. Gleason Interview
    Thanks, I've heard bits and pieces of that interview, but I've never heard the whole thing. That part at the end was hard to understand...

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    That part at the end was hard to understand...
    well i think he was dealin' with typical artist insecurity/angst..van gogh!! sometimes he heard it and was right there with it...and other times he felt lost..as if something was holding him back..and he'd do whatever needed to break back through...studying his masters

    i think those who have chosen the guitar as a path of life, always are facing that...my experience has always been to keep guitar in hand...even when the mind rebels...keep the motor skills/reflexes sharp..so that when the mind lines back up..the flesh is there, ready & willing

    and of course that reaches its limits as well...with time & age...but carry on

    cheers

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Hmmm, pretty interesting to learn a couple of things from the above posts. Firstly that he didn't consider himself a "technical" player, as well as the idea that he felt insecure about his guitar playing !

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I think a lot of the 'popular' Wes stuff is absolute rubbish, commercial dross. He needed a small group and the freedom to play jazz the way he wanted.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    He certainly had the feeling. I think that's the main thing with jazz. (Or at least, the jazz I tend to prefer.)

    But I never thought of him as a slouch in the technique department.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Hmmm, pretty interesting to learn a couple of things from the above posts. Firstly that he didn't consider himself a "technical" player, as well as the idea that he felt insecure about his guitar playing !
    I’m not sure he felt insecure. I think - from other interviews I’ve read - he had a very realistic and I think accurate idea of his strengths, such as his ability to build drama and energy in a solo. I get the impression he had a very clear idea of what he was interested in doing in terms of his art.

    Wes was certainly no slouch in terms of sheer speed and single note technique, but when set against his contemporaries such as Johnny Smith I kind of get what he means. There were certain things Wes just didn’t really do. Some of those guys had an almost classical approach to the left hand.

    For instance Wes said he had a fairly limited repertoire of chords, and it’s kind of true if you study his music... mostly simple, easy shapes derived from drop 2s and simplified versions of those (that incidentally you can finger in fast combinations), not the complex stretchy pianistic chords of Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow or even Barney Kessel.... however what he did with them was pretty amazing....

    And then you had the single note bop virtuoso like Tal Farlow (again), Billy Bean and Jimmy Raney. Wes was never trying to do that on that level either, really, although some of his early playing is quite boppy. The fact that he stuck with the thumb tells you what his priorities were...

    And yet he had the arguably greater influence on the art, from Benson to Metheny, to Hendrix and beyond.... When Joe Satriani or John Mayer or someone mentions a jazz player, it’s gonna be Django or Wes... he’s iconic, one of the few jazz guitarists to transcend the genre....

    Can learn a lot about the Art from thinking about that. Foolish to try to do everything. Play to your strengths.

    Great interviews btw....
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-10-2019 at 02:13 PM.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    And yet he had the arguably greater influence on the art, from Benson to Metheny, to Hendrix and beyond.... When Joe Satriani or John Mayer or someone mentions a jazz player, it’s gonna be Django or Wes... he’s iconic, one of the few jazz guitarists to transcend the genre....

    Can learn a lot about the Art from thinking about that. Foolish to try to do everything. Play to your strengths.
    I think Joe Pass said somewhere there were 3 main (jazz) guitar players, period: Django, Charlie Christian, and Wes. They're the guitar players most non-guitarists favor. (I wonder how many non-guitarists buy Jim Hall records.) And gutiarists love them too.

    As for what you said about there being some things Wes just didn't do, I think you're right. This might be a part of developing a strong style. (If you're doing everything then, as my dad would say, "that don't favor nothing.") Django, Charlie, and Wes always stood out. They had such strong, singular musical voices. (Bird too, Coltrane too, Armstrong too.)

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    He was a weird guy. A sax player I know used to play with him some place out west, probably Indianapolis. One day they were sitting in a laundromat, watching the clothes washer. All of a sudden, Rhyne said, "With the power of my mind, I can make that washer levitate into the air."
    He started concentrating, but nothing happened. Then he said that he chose not to do it at that time.
    He was into Scientology.
    Some of the chord subs that he did with Wes were very hip. They could have been his, because Wes would play the same tune on another album/live performance, and the pianist would play the standard changes. Then again, Wes could have told MR what changes to play.
    We'll never know.
    Thanks for telling me about his first LP. Sounds like it's not too good.
    Well, I'm not gonna say it's not good because everyone sounds great, Blue Mitchell, Johnny Griffin, Andy Simpkins , Harris and Tootie Heath, pretty nice lineup, which of course doesn't always translate to fireworks.
    There's good playing all over it but Rhyne seems to be the odd man out, he doesn't really add anything noteworthy.
    But check out his later Criss Cross lps w a relatively young Pete Bernstein, they're excellent.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    He was a weird guy. A sax player I know used to play with him some place out west, probably Indianapolis.
    This is amusing to anyone from the West, which starts at New Mexico, Colorado, the Rockies (Texas, in a different universe, wears the clothes & hats but is Texas, not West.)

    Similarly, this sort of painfully differential (not deferential ) examination of musicians & their performances can miss the
    sweet emotional connection of the listener and the musical experience.

    Still the history lessons have been fun, so Thank You very much.