RSD Watch: Wes Montgomery, Live

Wes Montgomery

Two releases of hometown hero Wes Montgomery's work this RSD - and one of them was locally recorded. Both 10-inch records are being issued by Resonance Records.

Info from the Record Store Day gods:

Wes Montgomery & The Montgomery-Johnson Quintet

Live At The Turf Club

These recordings were made by a 22 year old Butler College student named Philip Kahl, who followed Wes Montgomery & his brothers around Indianapolis in the mid-1950's. Kahl clearly had access to the brothers, recording them in 3 venues heard on the forthcoming release, "Wes Montgomery: In the Beginning" (out later this year on Resonance Records as a 2 CD deluxe digi-pack & 3 LP boxed set). The recordings were made at Indy's legendary Turf Club in 1956. This group with the brothers (Wes, Buddy, & Monk) was known by Naptown jazz fans as The Montgomery-Johnson Quintet, (with fellow locals, drummer, Robert "Sonny" Johnson, and tenor saxophonist, Alonzo "Pookie" Johnson). On "Going Down To Big Mary's House," you'll also be treated to guest vocals from Duke Ellington alumni, Debbie Andrews. Resonance first obtained these recordings in 2011 from Ann Montgomery (the widow of Wes's brother, pianist, Buddy Montgomery). Ann came to Resonance with news Buddy had copies of these recordings plus never before published photos taken at The Turf Club. These recordings are a miraculous discovery full of inspired performances. Luckily, Resonance was able to track down the original quarter inch tape reels, and did direct transfers re-mastering at 96/24 bit. Keep in mind that these tracks were recorded live in the mid-1950's, when recording technology was still evolving, however Resonance has been able to restore the sound so it's presented in a higher quality. (Limited edition world-wide first pressing of 2000 copies on Whiskey colored translucent 10" vinyl. Mastered by Bernie Grundman).

And the second release:

Wes Montgomery & The Montgomery-Johnson Quintet

This is a newly discovered lost recording session of Wes Montgomery & his brothers recorded at Columbia studios in 1955 for Epic Records. These are amongst the earliest known recordings of Wes Montgomery (& his brothers), plus Quincy Jones as a producer (who organized the session after knowing the brothers through his tenure in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra). These tracks are licensed from Sony Music Group to Resonance Records as part of a limited edition 10" pressing to commemorate Record Store Day. We've re-created a look and feel of what the packaging would've looked like had the session been released back in 1955 (fully enact with vintage art, logos, and even a classic mid-1950's Epic Records label). Liner notes feature highlights of an interview of Quincy Jones to Ashley Kahn given in 2013. These recordings will be featured on the forthcoming Resonance release "Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning" out later this year on Resonance Records. (Limited edition world-wide first pressing of 2000 copies on 10" vinyl).

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