Wes Montgomery - "Far Wes" (audio) (Premiere)

by Brice Ezell

5 May 2015

The jazzy guitar stylings of Wes Montgomery have never sounded as good as they do on his latest compilation, In the Beginning.

Fortunately for fans of both Wes Montgomery and great jazz music, the 2012 release Echoes of Indiana Avenue won’t be the last set of undiscovered tunes by Montgomery to grace the world. That LP is being followed up now by in the Beginning, a two-disc compilation that spans the year 1949 to 1958. Of the many features in this voluminous set, five tunes in particular stand out, each of which have been languishing in Sony Music Entertainment’s vaults for upwards of 60 years.

“Far Wes”, which you can here exclusively below, is one such discovery. Taken from a 1955 recording session at New York City’s Columbia Studios (where Miles Davis would later record Kind of Blue), the song is produced by the now reputable Quincy Jones, then an up-and-coming producer. At the end of “Far Wes”, you can hear recording engineer Frank Laico call out, “Quincy, there’s a call for you!”
The tune’s lineup is as follows: Wes Montgomery (guitar), Buddy Montgomery (piano), Monk Montgomery (bass), Alonzo “Pookie” Johnson (tenor saxophone), and Sonny Johnson (drums). The interplay between all the musicians is smooth, but it’s Montgomery’s show all the way. His at times impossibly legato playing would become part of a style that many have imitated since.

In the Beginning will be out on 12 May via Resonance Records. The album will be packed with deluxe edition-quality material, including recollections and historical analysis by critics Ashley Kahn and Bill Milkowski, producer Zev Feldman, The Who’s Pete Townshend, and Quincy Jones.

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