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Wynton Kelly Trio & Wes Montgomery – Smokin At The Half Note


An American jazz critic once said that Wes Montgomery was the “best thing that could happen to a guitar”. Grand words, one might say quickly racking one’s brains to come up with other great names. But after only a few minutes of listening to this live recording made in 1965 at the Half Note in New York, you will forget your brain-storming and concentrate on the unfused performance of this brilliant guitarist and the superb Wynton Kelly Trio.
The very first number on this album, which despite its tongue-in-cheek title “No Blues” is full of the spirit of black jazz, makes plain Montgomery’s unique talents. Highly-polished arching melodies, sharply-dissonant chordal runs and free improvisation displaying brilliant technique are the characteristics of this wizard of the “semi-acoustic” guitar. The quartet’s thrilling mixture of Blues, Latin and Soul is as fresh, modern and compelling as it was 30 years ago. This is music which gets down to the nitty-gritty, is always cool and straight with no fuss or frills getting in the way: the message comes over clearly – and it makes the blood surge through one’s veins! The almost tangible atmosphere of the recording venue and the pure sound quality further enhance this collector’s item and guarantee a jazz happening of the very highest order.

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SKU: Verve V6-8633 [2] Categories: , , , Tags: , ,


This is timeless music that has inspired innumerable jazz guitarists and aficionados. In fact, jazz guitar great Pat Metheny has said, »I learned to play listening to Wes Montgomery’s “Smokin’ At The Half Note”.« Metheny additionally said that the solo on “If You Could See Me Now” is his favorite of all time.
This legendary session was recorded at a New York nightclub. It captures Montgomery at the height of his improvisational powers. Many consider it the best performance on record by one of the most inventive guitarists in jazz history.
Highlights include the Miles Davis opener, “No Blues” and the following track, Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now.” And the album’s versions of “Unit 7” and “Four On Six” have helped to establish these songs as jazz standards.


1.No Blues
2.If You Could See Me Now
3.Unit 7
4.Four On Six
5.What’s New


Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm