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Monk Montgomery/Wes Montgomery/Buddy Montgomery: The Montgomeryland Sessions *

Track List

Album Notes

Wes Montgomery's admirers have often speculated on what direction his career might have taken had he not died prematurely in 1968. Would he have returned to straight-ahead bop, or would the slick, heavily produced smooth jazz he turned to during the last few years of his life continue to be his primary focus? Would there have been any Montgomery Brothers reunions in the `70s? One can only speculate. But what we can say for certain is that when he was still bop-oriented, the influential guitarist made his mark both as a leader and on sessions he co-led with bassist Monk Montgomery and pianist/vibist Buddy Montgomery. The Montgomery Brothers' pre-`60s output is the focus of The Montgomeryland Sessions; spanning 1955-1959, this two-CD set contains the albums The Montgomery Brothers Plus Five Others and Montgomeryland in their entirety. Also included are live performances from the Kismet album (recorded at the Forum Theater in Los Angeles in 1958) and Jon Hendricks' A Good Git-Together (which finds the Montgomery Brothers backing that risk-taking singer at Fugazi Hall in San Francisco in 1959). And collectors will be glad to know that this double-CD contains a rare Montgomery Brothers version of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" from 1955. The Montgomeryland Sessions isn't the last word on Wes Montgomery's recordings with his brothers; for example, this release doesn't get into their Groove Yard session of 1961. But it takes more than a superficial look at their late-`50s activities, and even though The Montgomeryland Sessions isn't recommended to casual listeners, it's a release that serious collectors will be glad to have. ~ Alex Henderson



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