Wes Montgomery

Wes' Best

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Issued in 1967 as Wes Montgomery was approaching the peak of his commercial success, this LP swipes four tracks each from the Fantasy releases The Montgomery Brothers and The Montgomery Brothers in Canada. With Verve's success with Montgomery in mind, Fantasy's tape editors couldn't keep their cotton-pickin' hands off the masters, so they load each track with ghostly reverb and do some injudicious slicing and snipping. For instance, Buddy Montgomery's piano solo is cut entirely from "June in January," and on "Lover Man," which features Wes Montgomery only, the single-string portion of his solo is cut out altogether, skipping right to the octaves. The titles states "Wes' Best," but you'd probably rather hear overdubbed orchestras than some other guy's idea of what constitutes a satisfying improvised session. The editors were inconsistent, too, leaving tracks like "Snowfall" alone, complete with inconvenient distractions like Buddy Montgomery's attractive vibes solo.