Wes Montgomery – Full House (1962)

On this sizzling live date, guitar great Wes Montgomery is joined by the Wynton Kelly Trio (Wynton Kelly/piano, Paul Chambers/bass and Jimmy Cobb/drums) and the under-rated Johnny Griffin on sax who absolutely tears up this set. Everyone is in top form on all selections which is why, for me, this shades Montgomery’s more famous live LP Smokin’ at the Half Note. Kelly, always a tasteful player, demonstrates his delicate touch while soloing or in support; you could focus your total listening attention on him through the length of the album as he populates the tunes with colourful details. Chambers, who is captured here with great fidelity, takes the opening solo on ‘Cariba’ and is nothing less than captivating. On the steam-rolling ‘S.O.S.’ Johnny Griffin and Wes Montgomery share front-line duties and sparks fly. Griffith’s solo is acrobatic and thrilling which inspires a scintillating turn from Montgomery. His phenomenal playing style inspired nearly every jazz-guitarist who came after him, including George Benson, Joe Pass and Pat Methany (even Hendrix was a fan). The unaccompanied version of ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face”, all creamy surfaces and finesse, is mesmerising, sharing his infectious joy of discovery with the enraptured audience. Throughout the entire album his virtuosity seems effortless, which is why he has been so loved through the decades to the present day.

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4 thoughts on “Wes Montgomery – Full House (1962)

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