Wes Montgomery’s Riverside career spanned almost exactly four years—the last recordings here were made in November 1963, and like the first were with an organ trio—and during that time he completely and permanently altered most musicians’ approach to the guitar. These first years of active recording, a period devoted almost entirely to small-group sessions in which he was frequently joined by some of the major players of the era, are the basis of his legendary jazz status.
Of the 158 performances included here, no less than 49 are alternates or were otherwise originally unissued. Although many of these efforts have been released over the years, 16 are now being made available for the first time.
Other highlights of the set include virtually complete reproductions of his only "live" Riverside club date, featuring Johnny Griffin and Wynton Kelly; a classic encounter with Cannonball and Ray Brown; and co-leader collaborations with Milt Jackson and George Shearing.
The 32-page booklet also contains an essay by Jim Ferguson, featuring interviews with Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Tommy Flanagan, Kevin Eubanks, and many others; and session notes by Orrin Keepnews, the original producer of Wes’s 25