Monday, January 21, 2019

WES MONTGOMERY – The Alternative Wes Montgomery (M ‎– 68138 / 2LP-1982)




Label: Milestone Records ‎– 68138 M-47065
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1982
Style: Hard Bop
14 Previously Unissued Takes
All songs recorded between 1960 and 1963.
Art Direction – Phil Carroll
Photography – Jim Marshall
Reprocessing and rerecording by Danny Kopelson
Mastering by George Hora, 1982 (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Producer – Orrin Keepnews
Distributed By – Carrere – CA 271
Matrix / Runout (Runout A): M-47065 / 68138 MA 1
Matrix / Runout (Runout B): M-47065 / 68138 MB 1
Matrix / Runout (Runout C): M-47066 / 68138 MC 2
Matrix / Runout (Runout D): M-47066 / 68138 MD 2

Guitar – Wes Montgomery

A1 - Born To Be Blue .............................................................................................. 7:23
A2 - S.O.S. (Take 2) ................................................................................................ 4:45
A3 - Come Rain Or Come Shine (Take 1) .............................................................. 7:16
         Bass – Paul Chambers
            Drums – Jimmy Cobb
            Piano – Wynton Kelly
            Tenor Saxophone – Johnny Griffin
B1 - Fried Pies (Take 1) .......................................................................................... 6:34
B2 - Besame Mucho (Take 2) ................................................................................. 6:24
         Drums – Jimmy Cobb
            Organ – Mel Rhyne
B3 - The Way You Look Tonight (Take 2) ............................................................... 5:48
         Drums – George Brown
            Organ – Mel Rhyne
B4 - Stairway To The Stars (Take 2) ...................................................................... 3:43
C1 - Jingles (Take 8) .............................................................................................. 6:49
         Bass – Sam Jones
            Drums – Philly Joe Jones
            Piano – Wynton Kelly
            Vibraphone [Vibes] – Milt Jackson
C2 - Bock To Bock (Take 1) .................................................................................... 5:35
C3 - Doujie (Take 7) ............................................................................................... 4:24
         Bass – Monk Montgomery
            Drums – Bobby Thomas
            Piano – Buddy Montgomery
C4 - Movin’ Along (Take 1) ..................................................................................... 6:37
         Bass – Sam Jones
            Drums – Louis Hayes
            Flute – James Clay
            Piano – Victor Feldman
D1 - Body And Soul (Take 2) ................................................................................ 11:17
D2 - Tune Up (Take 9) ............................................................................................ 4:39
         Bass – Sam Jones
            Drums – Louis Hayes
            Flute – James Clay
            Piano – Victor Feldman
D3 - Tune Up (With Strings) (Take 2) ..................................................................... 5:06
         Arranged By [String Orchestra] – Jimmy Jones
            Bass – Milt Hinton
            Concertmaster – Gene Orloff
            Drums – Osie Johnson
            Harp – Margaret Rose
            Piano – Dick Hyman
            Rhythm Guitar – Kenny Burrell
            Woodwind [Woodwinds] – Phil Bodner

Thumbing through the New Arrivals section in a record store, one of the many pleasures of record collecting is the occasional unexpected surprise among the usual stack of common reissues and second division artists.
I recently stumbled on this intriguing ’80s issue of Wes Montgomery. The cover looked like those  “specially priced” Fantasy two-record compilations of previously issued material, which I have found generally disappointing. However, on closer inspection, I discovered it included one whole side of the classic Wes Montgomery Riverside recording Full House, Live at Tsubo’s, in which Wes meets the Miles Davis Rhythm Section, recorded live in Berkley. Not just one track, but a whole side, and a bonus, alternative takes from the original recording session.



Previously un-issued alternative takes from sessions for Riverside in the golden years 1959-63, before Wes’ migration to “instrumental pop”. Montgomery died in 1968, so there’s no more music where that came from, and vinyl more or less died in the mid ’80s, so… but wait!  French press? Carrere Distribution?  Read in, cheapskate, everything about this reissue says don’t, but the material looked compelling, two records, priced in single figures, what is there to lose?
Artists – “Full House” session:
Wes Montgomery (guitar) Johnny Griffin (tenor) Wynton Kelly (piano) Paul Chambers (bass) Jimmy Cobb (drums) June 25, 1962, recorded live at Tsubo, Berkeley, California, engineer Wally Heider, issued on Riverside 434, 1962, later reissued on a Fantasy two-fer as “Groove Brothers“.
Difficult to find an original Riverside in top condition, friends have resorted to Japan. However we now have another alternative.
Other Montgomery sessions – artists:
Kenny Burrell, James Clay, Victor Feldman, Johnny Griffin, Louis Hayes, Milt Jackson, Philly Joe Jones, Sam Jones, and Mel Rhyne.
Selections curated by Wes’s original producer, Orin Keepnews, from original Riverside session tapes, released on Fantasy Records “Milestone” label in 1982 (35 year old vinyl, from before the CD watershed!). This edition licensed for European distribution through Carrere, with just a hint of garlic.
Wes Montgomery is backed by the dream rhythm team of  Kelly, Chambers and Cobb. Johnny Griffin, fastest tenor in the west, is a welcome addition to the line up, which combined with Wynton Kelly’s rhythmic attack, lifts it from being just a guitar session to a quintet of greater depth and contrast.


Wes elevated the guitar from rhythm accompaniment to a front line instrument, and was one of the first jazz guitarist to fully incorporate the legato approach of the horn players, using the right-hand thumb instead of a plectrum. The fat, warm sound he was able to produce with the thumb created a very vocal, soulful ‘voice’. Guitarist Jim Mullen noted that Wes “had a double-jointed thumb, which meant he could play both up- and downstrokes like a pick player.
After a passage of fluid, bluesy, always relaxed single-string licks, Wes would move onto octaves for the next stage, and play them so effortlessly that you would hardly notice the transition. Yet, the line is now doubled and intensity is added to the solo. The last phase of the solo would see Wes move from octaves to full chords – known as ‘block’ chords – which would further increase the drama and excitement.
Few recordings capture a live set as well as the Full House session, perhaps Miles & Mobley at The Blackhawk, Bill Evans Village Vanguard sessions come to mind. The ambience is luscious, tactile, you have to dim the lights, join the audience, you are there. I guess stereo helps complete the sense of physical presence.



Though reissues can be a slippery slope in terms of audio fidelity, there seems to be a principle, that if the original recording is top quality, and the  re-issue is re-mastered  from a high quality copy tape, and someone  didn’t f*** it up, the quality of parentage can come shining through in the reissue. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say. That certainly seems to be the case here.

Carrere Records was formed in the ’70s by a french producer Claude Carrere, who created Disques Carrere, a label specialising in Euro rock and pop, but with a significant number of jazz reissues in its book. Carrere was a little like Interdisc in the previous decade, acting as a licensing operation that organised manufacture and distribution in Europe of overseas recordings, mainly from the US. Based on the small number I own, Carrere editions are usually sonically indifferent, possibly a reflection of the rock and pop engineers tasked with re-mastering in the 80’s, and the type of equipment in use . As always, there are exceptions, both good and bad, this was a good one.  Carrere Records was bought finally by the giant Warner Group in the ’90s.

The less said about the budget cover the better, plain fare, but the liner notes are a good use of gatefold space, reproduced here to be readable at full screen.

(Review by londonjazzcollector.)



If you find it, buy this album!

14 comments:

  1. WES MONTGOMERY – The Alternative Wes Montgomery (2LP-1982)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC-96kHz+Artwork (595.85 MB)

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?ebkiqjdk3qdqgyxgp655

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  2. Great discovery and well said. Must listen, thanks.

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  3. Hey man, I'm curious... were there released on The Complete Wes on Riverside box?

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    1. I do not have this box, but if the compilation is called The Complete Riverside Recordings, I assume it should be. I know that in 1989 came out and CD "The Alternative Wes Montgomery", but in a somewhat shortened form.

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  4. Replies
    1. I do not know what the problem is, but the link works great.

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  5. Incredible rip!, big thanks!.

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  6. Marvelous! Thank you. Can you list your recording process...equipment, turntable, amp, pre-amp, ADC, software used...anything. I'm just curious. Thanks

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  7. Do not misunderstand me, but since this is your first comment on this blog, I think it's too ambitious for you to ask me all that information. And on the other hand, your profile is of course not available. Eh .....?!... Be realistic ...! Enjoy in music!

    ReplyDelete