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Wes Montgomery "Movin': The Complete Verve Recordings" On Hip-O Select / Verve

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A lavish box set celebrating the late Wes Montgomery, Movin': The Complete Verve Recordings, includes all eight of the legendary guitarist's Verve albums in one sleek, 5-CD package. Included are Movin' Wes, Bumpin', Smokin' At The Half Note, Goin' Out Of My Head, Tequila, California Dreaming, and the Jimmy Smith collaborations Wes & Jimmy: The Dynamic Duo and Further Adventures of Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery, as well as rare alternates and session outtakes. Housed in a beautiful 7-3/8" square box—the same as the acclaimed Verve Select packages featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, et al.—Movin' honors Montgomery's pioneering jazz-crossover performances.

Montgomery made his reputation as a versatile, soulful guitarist, playing supple lines with his thumb, and in 1964 he signed with Verve, where Creed Taylor, a leading light of commercial jazz who previously had created Impulse! Records, produced him. “Though Taylor didn't consciously set out to turn Montgomery into a jazz-pop avatar," writes Marc Myers in the box set's extensive liner notes, “the guitarist proved that jazz interpretations of radio hits could sound as passionate and as honest as those delivered by any teen idol... the albums in this box set document the 'Birth of the Mod'—the beginnings of what would become known as jazz-pop fusion."

Montgomery's albums feature a variety of smart, savvy covers and originals that use various arrangers, including Johnny Pate, Don Sebesky, Oliver Nelson and Claus Ogerman. “Goin' Out Of My Head" is one of the covers, a surprisingly rich version of a hit by Little Anthony & the Imperials that hit the pop charts and won a Grammy®. And Montgomery's amazing guitar playing is epitomized by the classic live-and-studio album Smokin' At The Half Note, in which he's backed by the Wynton Kelly Trio. The full set, edited from the original LP release, and the complete paired studio recordings are included in the collection, as well as the overdubbed versions issued by Verve after Montgomery's unexpected death at age 45.

Liner notes by author Marc Myers tell the terrific story of Montgomery and his jazz-pop ascendance. (Myers also wrote essays for Verve Select releases by Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald.) Enhancing the legacy are quotes from guitarists Pat Metheny, Russell Malone, Mark Whitfield and Derek Trucks, who pay their debt to Montgomery's trailblazing Verve career. Also included in the package are detailed annotations, rare photographs and faithful reproductions of original album artwork.

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