John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (Indianapolis, 6 March 1925 – 15 June 1968) was an American jazzguitarist. Many consider him one of the most important jazz guitarists in history. Montgomery influenced numerous other virtuoso guitarists including Pat Martino, Pat Metheny and Jimmy Moliere.
Montgomery was born in Indianapolis. He came from a musical family, his brothers, Monk Montgomery (double bass and electric bass) and Buddy Montgomery(vibraphone and piano) were jazz artists. Although he was not able in reading notes, he learned complex melodies and riffs by listening. Montgomery started learning to play the guitar at the age of 19, by listening to and learning his idol, guitarist Charlie Christian. Montgomery was known for his ability to play solos note for note after Christians and worked for Lionel Hampton for that ability.
Montgomery is often considered ' The Greatest ' of modern jazz. Wes made the guitar greats as a bebop-or post-bopinstrument. Although the guitarist Johnny Smith was in the ' New York Bebop scene, and Tal Farlow and Jimmy Raney significant contributions during the 1950s to the bebop guitar, these men their own shortened yield in thesixties, which filled a vacuum created that Montgomery with his virtuoso guitar playing. Many jazz artists are regarded as a virtuoso, but Montgomery was unique in its large influence on other artists who are inspired by him were virtuoso. For many, was Montgomery's style defines what the jazz guitar .
In his earlier career Montgomery toured with Lionel Hampton, but the combination of the stress while touring and away from his family brought him back to Indianapolis. To support his family, Montgomery worked in a factory from 7: 00 to 13: 00 and then performed in local clubs from 21: 00 to 2: 00 pm. Cannonball Adderley heard Montgomery play in a club in Indianapolis and was impressed. The next morning he called record producer Orrin Keepnews, who Montgomery offered a contract withRiverside Records. Montgomery took up with his brother and several musicians, including the Wynton Kelly Trio, they were also active as the escorts of Miles Davis.
John Coltrane asked Montgomery to join his band after a jam session , but Montgomery chose to continue with his own band. Until the end of the 1960s was successful and yet still brought albums from Montgomery until 1968.
Wes Montgomery died of a heart attack.
Montgomery was nominated twice for a Grammy for Bumpin' (1965) and received a Grammy for goin' Out of My Head as Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by Large Group or Soloist with Large Group (1966). He was also nominated for a grammy for Eleanor Rigby and Down Here on the Ground (1968) and for Willow, Weep for Me (1969).
- Caravan is used as the theme song of the television program pick from three .
- Fingerpickin' (1957)
- Far Wes (1958)
- The Wes Montgomery Trio (1959)
- The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960)
- Cannonball Adderley and the Poll-Winners (1960)
- Movin' Along (1960)
- The Montgomery Brothers (1960)
- The Montgomery Brothers in Canada (1961)
- So Much Guitar! (1961)
- Grooveyard (1961)
- Bags Meets Wes! (with Milt Jackson) (1961)
- Full House (1962)
- Fusion!: Wes Montgomery with Strings (hosted by Jimmy Jones) (1963)
- Boss Guitar (1963)
- Guitar On The Go (1963)
- The Alternative Wes Montgomery (different recordings of previous released albums) (1963)
- Portrait of Wes (1963)
- Movin' Wes (1964)
- Bumpin' (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky, including Cándido Camero) (1965)
- Smokin' at the Half Note (1965)
- Goin' Out of My Head (arranged and conducted Oliver Nelson) (1965)
- Tequila (arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman) (1966)
- California Dreaming (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky) (1966)
- Jimmy & Wes: The Dynamic Duo (with Jimmy Smith) (1966)
- Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes (with Jimmy Smith) (1966)
- A Day in the Life (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky) (1967)
- Down Here on the Ground (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky) (1968)
- Road Song (arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky) (1968)
- Willow Weep for Me (unpublished recordings of theSmokin' at the Half Notesession) (1969)