FAME Review: Wes Montgomery - Boss Guitar
Wes Montgomery - Boss Guitar

Boss Guitar

Wes Montgomery

OJC Remasters - OJC-32330

Available from Concord Music Group.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Concord Records has remastered a quintet of classic jazz sides, adding in juicy bonus cuts, and sent them out to enlighten the masses. I'm covering four of them, of which this is the transcendent gem bedding in with sublime treasures, putting the stratospheric element back in terminal cool. Wes Montgomery's name has always been a byword among the cognoscenti, but it may well be that this re-release could find him a more dazzled laity among the public now. The times may have finally caught up to him.

Boss Guitar is not only a brilliant exposition, a milestone in the history of modern guitar playing, but also a truly dynamic look at the far end of what's possible in a trio. Melvin Rhyne may have crafted himself a low profile on that Hammond here, but his contributions are often so strong and unique that one can't help but follow him throughout. Drummer Jimmy Cobb maintains the mildest aspect, often using brushes, but the effect is as of two levels of rhythm sectioning: one, Cobb's, being the ground beneath everyone's feet; the other, Rhynes', a zephyr of atmospherics; with Mongomery bop-dancing within and upon both.

And those lines! The master is at the top of his game here, and the result is electrifying, as said: way ahead of its era. In him, you hear the future of so many, the pristine Earl Klugh not least among them, but also John Abercrombie, who would emerge radicalized like a fiend (especially in the almost unknown Friends ensemble with the unbelievable Marc Cohen on mahavishnu saxophone, an LP that set my hair on fire when first I heard it in the 70s) but who would also settle down a bit and create his own unique sound that clearly has debts traceable in Boss Guitar.

Track List:

  • Besame Mucho (Velasquez / Skylar)
  • Dearly Beloved (Kern / Mercer)
  • Days of Wine and Roses (Mancini / Mercer)
  • The Trick Bag (Wes Montgomery)
  • Canadian Sunset (Heywood / Gimble)
  • Fried Pies (Wes Montgomery)
  • TheBreeze and I (Lecuona / Stillman)
  • For Heaven's Sake (Meyer / Bretton)
    • Besame Mucho (Take 2) (Velaquez / Skylar)
    • The Trick Bag (Take 6) (Wes Montgomery)
    • Fried Pies (Take 1) (Wes Montgomery)

    Edited by: David N. Pyles


    Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
    This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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