Wes Montgomery

Just Walkin'

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Now hard to find, this posthumous 1971 LP gave Wes Montgomery fanatics eight previously unreleased selections from the guitarist's Verve period, all worth cherishing. Though the discographical annotations are very sketchy, it isn't hard to deduce where these tracks came from. Four of the eight are from the Tequila sessions, including an entirely new song "Wives and Lovers" and outtakes of "Tequila," "Bumpin' on Sunset," and "The Big Hurt," (the latter two are small-group performances minus the orchestrations of the official takes). A gorgeous rendering of "My One and Only Love" and gently swinging "Just Walkin'," both with superb Don Sebesky charts, are from Bumpin' and "Sunny" is a wonderfully relaxed variation on the one from the California Dreaming album, entirely different in concept and groove. The closer is a long, thoughtful "'Round Midnight" from the Jimmy Smith sessions, equipped with an often jarringly dissonant Oliver Nelson chart. While a few of Montgomery's solos are marginally inferior to those actually issued, his overall levels of taste and musicality are still tremendously high.

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