Archive for the ‘The Montgomery Brothers’ Category

Wes Montgomery & His Brothers

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Listen: June In January / Wes Montgomery & His Brothers WesMontgomeryJune.mp3

Having recorded initially with his siblings as The Montgomery Brothers, Wes Montgomery released his first few Fantasy singles continuing to include the boys. This is one.

I’ve many times thrown on a handful of his 7′s, or an album. They make for a good mood feel. I’d actually forgotten about finding ‘June In January’ in such perfect condition until doing some filing earlier this evening, so when deciding to share it, did some Wes Montgomery research.

Basically, he learned his craft by listening to and learning the recordings of idol, guitarist Charlie Christian and was known for his ability to play Christian solos note for note. As a result, he got hired by Lionel Hampton for this very reason.

According to Jazz guitar educator Wolf Marshall, Montgomery often approached solos in a three-tiered manner: He would begin a repeating progression with single note lines, derived from scales or modes; after a fitting number of sequences, he would play octaves for a few more sequences, finally culminating with block chords. He did not know scales or modes, let alone musical theory and used mostly superimposed triads and arpeggios as the main source for his soloing ideas and sounds.

Don’t ask me what the hell he’s talking about – I just like when Wes sounds like he’s showing off, even though he’s completely not.