Greetings, whoever-reads-this! This is the 100th anniversary of Wes Montgomery's birth. He died in 1968, just 45 years old. And he's been gone now for 55 years, longer than he'd been alive.
And I discovered him in 1969, a year after he died. Thinking of the Nietzsche quote that some men are born posthumously. It was certainly true in this case. Guitar on the Go was the album. It soon became the album.
What I liked best about Wes's playing were his single-note lines and his chord solos. The chord solos were particularly ingenious. I never took to the octave stuff, for some reason. That was of course his trademark after awhile. I tend to like his earliest stuff best.
I remember giving a lesson, several decades later, where I was admonishing my student to stay away from mannerisms. He threw in a couple of octave things while we were playing, which got him a fishy look from me. After we were done , he said, “I just did that to piss ya off!”
Which got a chuckle out of me. Waddya gonna do?
For a long time, I had a solid list of favorite jazz guitarists. My top five were Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Jesse Van Ruller and Joshua Breakstone. Pat Martino also figured in there. Likewise Mike Stern and others.
These are still great players, but anymore I have a whole new list of favorites. If I had to pick a Top Five, it'd probably be Adam Rogers, Mike Moreno, Yostein Gulbrandsen, Sheryl Bailey and Charles Altura. All younger than me, some by quite a few years.
I'm currently learning a song by another jazz legend who's left us. Wayne Shorter. Fee-fi-fo-fum is the tune. I've played it as a sideman on many occasions. It's awkward on the guitar, but I'm hanging in there. Coming soon, I hope.
This is all I've got for you for the moment. Thanks as ever for stopping in and reading. Happy Monday to you, if that's not too much of a contradiction. Until next time, hasta la vista.