In 1965, Wes Montgomery was growing increasingly commercial and was making his presence felt in the pop market more and more. One could argue that in the mid-'60s, Montgomery provided some of the first NAC recordings -- his heavily arranged covers of R&B and pop/rock songs certainly foreshadowed the NAC/smooth jazz radio formats of the '80s and '90s. But the distinctive guitarist was still quite capable of embracing standard hard bop, which is exactly what he does on Live at Ronnie Scott's. This LP finds Montgomery performing at the famous London jazz club in April and May 1965, when he was joined by pianist Stan Tracey, bassist Rick Laird, and drummer Ronnie Stephenson. There are no hints of pop-jazz or NAC music here. Montgomery is in fine form on "Wes' Easy Blues," as well as performances of standards like "I'll Remember April" and "Body and Soul." Although not quite essential, Live at Ronnie Scott's is an LP that lovers of Montgomery's straight-ahead playing will appreciate.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson