Wes Montgomery is accurately credited with reinventing jazz guitar: in the beginning of the modern era, there was Charlie Christian (from whose records Wes, as a teenager, first learned to play); then there was Montgomery, whose influence is strongly heard in the work of virtually every current guitarist. All but one of his Riverside albums, which were his earliest, display his trademark "impossible" octave-bridging solos and block chords in small-group settings. Fusion! is the single exception: stunningly lyrical performances with full-bodied string backgrounds, they retain a jazz feeling but also set the stage for the broadly popular recordings with which he gained his later success.
with Phil Bodner, Hank Jones, Dick Hyman, Kenny Burrell, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, plus strings arranged and conducted by Jimmy Jones