5 classic albums from guitarist Wes Montgomery – all packaged together in tiny LP-styled sleeves! The Trio album is Wes Montgomery's first album as a leader – a relatively obscure set that has him playing in a trio with Indianapolis bandmates Mel Rhyne on organ and Paul Parker on drums – a mode that strongly recalls Montgomery's roots in the Indy scene at the time!. The groove is straight and simple, but the real charm is Wes' chromatic lines on guitar – already quite distinctive among his contemporaries, and allowed ample
room to express their voice in this setting. Titles include "Ecorah", "Missile Blues", "Too Late Now", "Jingles", and "Whisper Not". Incredible Jazz Guitar is a very fitting title – because the set was only Wes Montgomery's second album as a leader, he was already making plenty of waves with the sound of his guitar! The session lines Wes up with the very tight rhythm team of Tommy Flanagan on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all of whom lay back and mostly let Wes take center stage – sparkling on a number of original tunes that include "West Coast Blues", "Mister Walker", and "D Natural Blues". Other tracks include a great fast take on Sonny Rollins' "Airegin", plus "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "Polka Dots & Moonbeams". Movin Along features Wes Montgomery with a bit of sax and flute – a nice change from the sound of some of his other early records, thanks to key work on the set from James Clay! Clay plays mostly flute on the record, but does so with a hard edge that reminds us of Frank Wess' work from the same stretch – really bringing a raspy edge to the record, and seeming to bring out the same in Wes' guitar work. The rest of the group includes Victor Feldman on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums – and titles include the nice groover "Movin' Along", plus "So Do It", "Sandu", "Tune Up", and "Says You". The next album is So Much Guitar – but never too much, given that Wes was the real master of sound and space, even at this early point in his career! The album's one that tries to break Montgomery from some of his smaller combo albums for Riverside, and pair him with a few bigger names – Hank Jones on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Lex Humphries on drums, and Ray Barretto on congas – who gives the album that bottom "kick" sort of groove that was used often on soul
jazz sessions from the time. The tune's lope around leanly and cleanly, giving plenty of focus on Wes' work on guitar – and titles include "Twisted Blues", "Repetition", "Somethin' Like Bags", and "While We're Young", which is a solo track by Wes. Boss Guitar is a session that's got a gritty edge that takes Wes back to his Indianapolis roots! The album's one of the few of the time to feature the unsung Hammond hero Mel Rhyne – a player who worked with Wes at his start, but has only gotten stronger acclaim in recent decades as part of his comeback. Rhyne's a key force in the record – working alongside Montgomery's guitar and the drums of Jimmy Cobb – in a loose, open trio that has Mel participating as strongly in the rhythms as he does in the solo side of the album. Titles include a few Montgomery originals – "The Trick Bag" and "Fried Pies" – plus the tunes "Besame Mucho", "Dearly Beloved", "Days Of Wine & Roses", "Canadian Sunset", "The Breeze & I", and "For Heaven's Sake".