JJ 04/62: The Montgomery Brothers – Groove Yard

Sixty years ago Sinclair Traill thought Wes best on the swingers and a little too flowery on the ballads - typical of what he called 'a modern trend'. First published in Jazz Journal April 1962


There is no doubt that Wes Mont­gomery is an astounding guitarist. His technique is enormous and without the use of a pick he is able to play some most unusual chords and progressions.

I must admit to liking him best on the swingers. He gets a big round tone from his instrument and he fairly kicks the beat along. In the ballads he gets a little too flowery for my ears, but it is a modern trend, and certainly Wes is al­ways in perfect control of what he is doing and he never gets over sugary.

Brother Buddy is usually heard on vibes, but here he turns his attention to the piano. His style is modern, sparse-noted, but swinging, and he is a superb accom­panist for his brother’s guitar solos. Monk is a fine strong bass player who, together with drummer Thomas, holds the beat with rigid attention.

The group sound as if they had been playing together for a long time – the music is natural, relaxed and for the most part very melodious.

Back To Back; Groove Yard; If I Should Lose You; Delirium (19 min) – Just For Now; Doujie; Heart Strings; Remember (19) min)
Wes Montgomery (g); Buddy Montgomery (p); Monk Montgomery (bs); Bobby Thomas (d). New York, 3/1/61. Riverside RLP 362 12inLP 41s