Happy Monday, Everyone. This week 3 Chics’ featured artist is the incomparable Mr. Wes Montgomery
Wiki: John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery (March 6, 1923 – June 15, 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is widely considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including Pat Martino, George Benson, Russell Malone, Emily Remler, Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, and Jimi Hendrix.
Montgomery was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to NPR Jazz Profiles “The Life and Music Of Wes Montgomery,” the nickname “Wes” was a child’s abbreviation of his middle name, Leslie. He came from a musical family; his brothers, Monk (string bass and electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone and piano), were jazz performers. The brothers released a number of albums together as the Montgomery Brothers. Although he was not skilled at reading music, he could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery started learning the six string guitar at the relatively late age of 20 by listening to and learning the recordings of his idol, guitarist Charlie Christian, however he had played a four string tenor guitar since age twelve. He was known for his ability to play Christian’s solos note for note and was hired by Lionel Hampton for this ability.
Many fellow jazz guitarists consider Montgomery the greatest influence among modern jazz guitarists. Pat Metheny has praised him greatly, saying “I learned to play listening to Wes Montgomery’s Smokin’ at the Half Note.” In addition, Metheny stated to The New York Times in 2005 that the solo on “If You Could See Me Now,” from this album is his favorite of all time. Joe Pass said, “To me, there have been only three real innovators on the guitar—Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, and Django Reinhardt,” as cited in James Sallis’s The Guitar Players and in his Hot Licks instructional video. Kenny Burrell states, “It was an honor that he called me as his second guitarist for a session.” In addition, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix, David Becker, Joe Diorio, Steve Lukather and Pat Martino have pointed to him numerous times as a great influence. Lee Ritenour, who recorded the 1992 album Wes Bound named after him, cites him as his most notable influence; he also named his son Wesley.
Monday Funnies, and they are TRUTH.