Wes Montgomery

Complete Live at Jorgies

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It's really too bad that the Definitive label did such a shoddy job of editing Complete Live at Jorgies. For starters, with no explanation this fine 1961 gig featuring Wes Montgomery with the Montgomery Brothers (and Billy Hart on drums) is split into two parts so the label can insert a 1963 studio date with Billy Taylor, Grady Tate, and Ben Tucker. Eric Mills' equally crummy liner notes tell you that this was done but offers no reason why. While all the music here is very fine indeed, the split is inexcusable because jazz gigs depend on momentum to come across, especially on a recording. That beautiful versions of "All of You" and "Summertime" are separated from a pair of set closers like "Starlight" and "'Round Midnight" is unthinkable. While the inserted session from 1963 has its own charms -- most notably "There Will Never Be Another You," with Montgomery's subtleties being engaged wholesale by Taylor's remarkable right-hand work and Tate's soulful drumming -- it nonetheless pales in comparison to the taut intensity of the live show that precedes it and proceeds from it.

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