In The Beginning: Early Recordings From 1949-1958

In The Beginning: Early Recordings From 1949-1958

by Wes MontgomeryWes Montgomery


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Rare Wes Montgomery material is hard to come by. Not counting Willow Weep for Me, the posthumous LP Verve issued in 1968 not long after the guitarist's passing, there was Resonance's 2012 set Echoes of Indiana Avenue, which contained largely live performances from 1957 and 1958. In the Beginning, released three years after Echoes, draws from a similar well of unreleased recordings, offering a heavy dose of live material along with five sides produced by Quincy Jones at Columbia Studios in 1955, plus three tracks a session at Spire Records in Fresno, California in 1949. Sequenced in rough reverse chronological order -- two live performances from November 1958 open the second disc, but the first is entirely devoted to recordings made at the Turf Club in Indianapolis in 1956, when Wes was supported by his brother Buddy on piano, Monk Montgomery on bass, Alonzo "Pookie" Johnson on tenor sax, and drummer Sonny Johnson -- the end result has Montgomery turning into a slightly straighter player as the collection rolls on, but that by no means means he sounds stiff. The 1949 cuts that wrap this up veer closer to big band than to bop, and there's a slight touch of politeness to the Jones-produced cuts. That said, it's possible to hear traces of Montgomery's fluidity here, but it's the live cuts from 1956 and 1958 that truly command attention. Here, there's a palpable hunger and playfulness to the performances that give the hard bop a kinetic kick, which means this isn't merely a worthy release from a historic standpoint, it's flat-out fun to boot.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/12/2015
Label: Resonance Records
UPC: 0724101773129
catalogNumber: 2014


Disc 1

  1. After You've Gone
  2. Fascinating Rhythm
  3. Brazil
  4. What Is There To Say?
  5. Four
  6. Wes' Tune
  7. My Heart Stood Still
  8. How High The Moon
  9. Django
  10. Going Down To Big Mary's
  11. I Should Care
  12. Caravan
  13. Six Bridges To Cross
  14. Ralph's New Blues

Disc 2

  1. Soft Winds
  2. Robbins' Nest
  3. A Night In Tunisia
  4. Love For Sale
  5. Leila
  6. Blues
  7. Undecided
  8. Far Wes
  9. All The Things You Are
  10. King Trotter
  11. Carlena's Blues
  12. Smooth Evening

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wes Montgomery   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar
Buddy Montgomery   Piano,Vibes
Melvin Rhyne   Piano
Monk Montgomery   Bass
Douglas Duke   Piano
Paul Parker   Drums
Debbie Andrews   Vocals
Richie Crabtree   Piano
Roy Johnson   Bass
Sonny Johnson   Drums
Earl Fox Walker   Drums
Sonny Parker   Vocals
Gene Morris   Tenor Saxophone
Alonzo "Pookie" Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
John Dale   Bass
Jack Coker   Piano
Flip Stewart   Bass

Technical Credits

Pete Townshend   Liner Notes
Titus Turner   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Benny Goodman   Composer
Milt Jackson   Composer
Quincy Jones   Producer,Liner Notes
John Lewis   Composer
Buddy Montgomery   Liner Notes
Wes Montgomery   Composer
Zev Feldman   Liner Notes
Jerome Kern   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Roy Johnson   Composer
George Klabin   Executive Producer
Frank Laico   Engineer
Turner Layton   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Bill Milkowski   Liner Notes
Sonny Parker   Composer
Ary Barroso   Composer
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Ashley Kahn   Liner Notes
Burton Yount   Art Direction
Gene Morris   Composer
Stordahl   Composer
Marvin Holtzman   Executive Producer
S. Robin   Composer
Eri Griffin   Cover Illustration

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