Personnel includes: Wes Montgomery (guitar); Don Sebesky (arranger); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Helcio Milito, Grady Tate (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on May 16-20, 1965. Originally released on Verve (8625). Includes liner notes by Chuck Taylor and Don Sebesky.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of the Verve Master Edition series.
In his liner notes for the reissue of BUMPIN', arranger Don Sebesky describes how intimidated Wes Montgomery got by the presence of all the Juilliard-trained musicians in the studio. So Sebesky and producer Creed Taylor had Montgomery go in and record with just a rhythm section, keeping sketches on hand of where the orchestrations would fill things out after the fact. This, says Sebesky, put Montgomery's well-known smile back on his face, and you can hear this in the tracks.
Here the guitarist sounds relaxed and extroverted, like he's got room to play. Montgomery always included original tunes and other jazz composers' work in among the standards he chose: here it's Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," along with his own title cut, and "Tear It Down," recorded with just the rhythm section of Roger Kellaway, Bob Cranshaw and Grady Tate. While you don't quite get the fire-breathing interaction and stretching out of Montgomery's Riverside releases, there's cool, low-flame cooking going on during the title track, the Gillespie tune, Sebesky's blues "Musty," and others. The ballads give Montgomery a chance to provide some lush chord-melody work, particularly on the original "Mi Cosa."