Buddy Montgomery is Gone


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We did not intend Rifftides to be an obituary service. It would be simpler to avoid its seeming like one if treasured musicians would stick around. We cannot ignore their passing.

The latest loss is Buddy Montgomery, who died today at the age of 79. The youngest of the Montgomery brothers, he outlived guitarist Wes and bassist Monk by many years. Admired among musicians for his creativity as a pianist and vibraharpist, his example affected a number of younger players. The prolific pianist David Hazeltine credits Montgomery as a primary influence. In the course of a career that began in the late 1940s in his hometown of Indianapolis, Montgomery played with Big Joe Turner, Slide Hampton, Miles Davis, George Shearing, and The Mastersounds (with his brother Monk). He recorded often with his brothers and led several groups of his own.

The Montgomery Brothers' Groove Yard album is one of their most celebrated.

Groove Yard.jpg

The cover shows (l to r) Wes, Monk and Buddy. An extensive compilation of other music they recorded for the Riverside label has the deceptively similar name of Groove Brothers. Among Buddy Montgomery's own CDs, Here Again is a standout. Go here for a full-length sample; Montgomery with his rich harmonies on piano playing “My Ideal." Jeff Chambers is the bassist, Ray Appleton the drummer.

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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