Wes Montgomery, guitar; Stan Tracey, piano; Rick Laird, bass; Ronnie Stephenson, drums.
This wonderfully swinging set is already thirty five years old, but it sounds just as great today. Stan and Rick lay down an ideal backdrop for the unique styling of guitarist Wes Montgomery, with the remarkable drumming of Ronnie Stephenson following and uplifting every note that Wes and the others play.
During the period of the recording (London, April/May 1965), Stephenson was regarded as first call by every visiting American Jazz musician. In the early 1970s, he moved moved to Germany to play with Kurt Edelhagen and other German big bands for over twenty five years, which robbed the British scene of an important star player. Without Stephenson, this session would've been far less interesting.
However, I could have done without the nearly eleven minute rendition of "Here's That Rainy Day," one of the longest Bossa Novas on record.
Even with that criticism, this is still an important date in the history of Wes Montgomery.
by Al Merritt
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