Who said that Jazz music had to consist of wind instruments to be considered “Jazz.” No Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet and so on found here but great innovative stuff. Jazz is Jazz to me and that’s why I prepared this 4 set podcast here and to further prove that Jazz sounds great, no matter what instrument it’s played with, as long as it’s played right. The Piano has to be there, that’s for sure but I’m sure someone has already played Jazz without having a Pianist present, it’s possible. I particularly love the 2nd set, wow! Duke Ellington, Mingus and Max Roach, talk about improvising. Enjoy!
Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!
1. “D-Natural Blues” 2. “Four on Six” and 3. “Mr. Walker” From “The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery” CD Album.
More on Album:
John “Wes” Montgomery taught himself to play at the age of nineteen and created a style as influential to jazz guitar as was Charlie Christian’s to an earlier generation. Recorded in the early part of his solo career, THE INCREDIBLE JAZZ GUITAR OF WES MONTGOMERY defined standards for hard bop guitar which are as cogent today as they were in 1960.
The album jumps out with the quartet hustling through Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin,” where Wes performs his often imitated licks with grace and agility. His extended phrases, thematic development, harmonic and melodic embellishment come together in a formidable technique with a heavy swing. An impressive use of octaves and chords coupled with the rejection of a guitar pick in favor of his own thumb allowed Wes’ guitar to sing with warmth and with beauty. The lyrical rendition of “Polka Dots And Moonbeams” and his own “D-Natural Blues” are prime examples of the fullness of his lines. To this day, whenever a guitarist uses octaves he runs the risk of comparison to Wes, such was his mastery of this technique. Another aspect of his legacy is the compositions. Since their appearance on this album, “Four On Six” and “West Coast Blues” have become standard jazz repertoire. Yet to remain in awe merely of his approach is to miss the point of what he has to say……Learn More
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (where he also died of a heart attack in 1968), Montgomery came from a musical family, in which his brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone, and piano), were jazz performers. Although Wes was not skilled at reading music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery started learning guitar in his late teens, listening to and learning recordings of his idol, the guitarist Charlie Christian.
Along with the use of octaves (playing the same note on two strings one octave apart) for which he is widely known, Montgomery was also an excellent “single-line” or “single-note” player, and was very influential in the use of block chords in his solos. His playing on the jazz standard “Lover Man” is an example of his single-note, octave and block chord soloing. (”Lover Man” appears on the Fantasy album THE MONTGOMERY BROTHERS.)
Instead of using a guitar pick, Montgomery plucked the strings with the fleshy part of his thumb, using downstrokes for single notes and a combination of upstrokes and downstrokes for chords and octaves. This technique enabled him to get a mellow, expressive tone from his guitar. George Benson, in the liner notes of the Ultimate Wes Montgomery album, wrote that “Wes had a corn on his thumb, which gave his sound that point. He would get one sound for the soft parts, and then that point by using the corn. That’s why no one will ever match Wes. And his thumb was double-jointed. He could bend it all the way back to touch his wrist, which he would do to shock people.”
He generally played a Gibson L-5CES guitar. In his later years he played one of two guitars that Gibson custom made for him. In his early years, Montgomery had a tube amp, often a Fender. In his later years he played a Standel.
Montgomery toured with vibraphonist Lionel Hampton’s orchestra from July
1948 to January 1950, and can be heard on recordings from this period. Montgomery then returned to Indianapolis and did not record again until December 1957 (save for one session in 1955), when he took part in a session that included his brothers Monk and Buddy, as well as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, who made his recording debut with Montgomery. Most of the recordings made by Montgomery and his brothers from 1957-1959 were released on the Pacific Jazz label……Learn More
4. “Money Jungle” 5. “Very Special” 6. “Caravan” 7. “Switch Blade” from the Duke Ellington “Money Jungle” CD Album.
About the Album:
Although this excellent album is listed as a Duke Ellington, equal billing should be given to the participation of Charles Mingus and Max Roach. The remastered CD is outstanding, having been cleaned up from the original master tape. The CD also has the addition of six extra tracks, including four unheard Ellington originals: “Very Special,” “Rem Blues,” “Switch Blade,” and “Backward Country Boy Blues.” He is as at home in the setting of a trio as he is with a wailing big-band, and as usual, he allows the other musicians to play. The trio version of “Caravan” is exceptional, raucous and swinging…..Learn More
8. “Sweet and Sue, Just You” 9. Solemn Meditation 10. I’ve got you under my skin” From the Randy Weston “Solo, Duo and Trio” CD Album.
Recorded in New York, New York in April 27, 1954. Originally released on Riverside (2508).
Some of pianist Randy Weston’s earliest recordings are represented on this CD, which combine the contents of a 10″ release with a full LP, both of which appeared originally on Riverside. His drastically different style of playing got critics talking about the influence of Thelonious Monk. The first five tracks feature Weston with bassist Sam Gill and drummer Art Blakey; the somewhat somber interpretation of “Sweet Sue, Just You” almost makes it humorous, but the highlights of the trio session are Weston’s original works. “Pam’s Waltz” is a gently gliding yet unpredictable piece with minimal accompaniment by Gill and Blakey sticking to brushes. “Zulu” is an infectious mid-tempo bop composition that has plenty of twists and turns……Learn More
11. “Fugue de Blues” 12. “Takeela” From the “Introducing Kenny Burrell” 2CD Album.
Contains tracks from the sessions that resulted in INTRODUCING KENNY BURRELL (1956) and KENNY BURRELL VOL. 2 (1957), as well as tracks recorded in a 1958 session that had limited release.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Ron McMaster.
Detroit guitarist Kenny Burrell made his recording debut as a leader on Blue Note Records in 1956 at age 24, and forever changed the state of jazz guitar. This epic two-disc collection gathers that first session and two others from the same year. Burrell displays all the full-bodied, soulful swing for which he would become legendary, and a skillful hand at both standards and his own original tunes. These early sessions show a fully formed stylist who would soon take the jazz world by storm with his smooth, clear sound and unlimited creative virtuosity.
No one session stands out above the rest, although Burrell’s debut, covering all of Disc One, has a special energy. Disc Two, however, is stimulating in its pairing of Burrell in two sessions with either Frank Foster or Hank Mobley. Kenny Burrell’s first recorded chapter is a stellar beginning…..Read More
13. “Take the A Train” From the “Cat on a hot Fiddle” CD Album.
14. “Round Midnight” 15. Ruby my Dear” From “The Essential Thelonious Monk ” CD Album.