Smokin' at the Half Note is essential listening for anyone who wants to hear why Montgomery's dynamic live shows were considered the pinnacle of his brilliant and incredibly influential guitar playing. Pat Metheny calls this "the absolute greatest jazz guitar album ever made," and with performances of this caliber ("Unit 7" boasts one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded) his statement is easily validated. Montgomery never played with more drive and confidence, and he's supported every step of the way by a genuinely smokin' Wynton Kelly Trio. In 1998, Verve reissued the complete show on disc two of Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides, although the scrambled track order and some non-essential cuts don't diminish the appeal of the original album.
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AllMusic Review by Jim Smith