FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2015
RESONANCE RECORDS RELEASES
WES MONTGOMERY ONE NIGHT IN INDY
(FEATURING THE EDDIE HIGGINS TRIO)
IN CD FORMAT, JANUARY 15, 2016
Never-before-released recording of
legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery playing with
jazz pianist Eddie Higgins
An exclusive 1959 performance recorded live in Indianapolis
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Resonance Records is proud to release the CD edition of Wes Montgomery One Night In Indy, an exclusive 1959 live recording of the jazz-guitar great playing with the legendary jazz pianist Eddie Higgins and his trio in Indianapolis, Indiana. Available on January 15, 2016, the CD edition follows the release of the 12" LP limited-edition pressing for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event on November 27, 2015 (originally scheduled for last April’s Record Store Day event, but was held up due to a production snafu). Early in 2015, Resonance Records released the acclaimed In the Beginning, newly discovered recordings of Montgomery from 1949-1958.
In 2013, producer Zev Feldman was approached by the late, great Indiana photojournalist Duncan Schiedt with an enticing musical proposition (the two had become friends while working on the Wes Montgomery Echoes of Indiana 2012 Resonance release). Schiedt asked if Resonance would be interested in a prized recording he had in his possession — a 7" tape reel featuring a January 18, 1959 performance by Montgomery and the Eddie Higgins Trio, the only known documentation of any date featuring the guitarist and the pianist.
According to producer Feldman, Duncan and few of his friends ran a jazz club in Indianapolis known as the Indianapolis Jazz Club (or the I.J.C. known to locals). As Feldman describes in his essay included in the release, “The club was described to me as a group of people who had a common interest in jazz and who gathered to listen to records and host concerts.” Members of this club recorded this one-night-only performance of Wes Montgomery playing with the Eddie Higgins Trio. Feldman notes that Duncan “explained that this tape had been passed down to him by other members of the club, though no one had actually listened to it. Duncan was one of the last original members and hoped this tape would, one day, be released in partnership with the artists’ families.”
Resonance Records is pleased to honor this request and release One Night In Indy with the blessings of the Wes Montgomery Estate and Eddie Higgins’s widow, Meredith D’Ambrosio, whom Feldman found via Sunnyside Records president François Zalacain. This recording is a gift from Duncan Schiedt to Wes Montgomery fans, decades after the memorable performance.
The specially priced CD features just over 40 minutes of music. Accompanying these notable headliners is Chicago drum legend Walter Perkins (a former drummer for Ahmad Jamal’s trio before Vernell Fournier) and an unidentified bassist (to identify this musician Resonance consulted Higgins alumni Bob Cranshaw and John Bany, along with fellow Chicago bass legends from that era, to no avail).
Feldman notes, “I'm grateful to Duncan for his lasting friendship and for sharing this with the world to hear. It is nothing short of incredible that after decades of no new Montgomery music, Resonance has brought to light new documents that will help Wes's legacy live on — In the Beginning (2015), Echoes of Indiana Avenue (2012), and, thanks to Duncan, One Night In Indy.” Since releasing Echoes of Indiana Ave, Resonance has located additional of unreleased 1950’s archival Montgomery recordings and plans to release more music in late 2016/2017.
With his artistic sensibility of an Indianapolis cityscape view, Burton Yount designed the album cover. Mixing and sound restoration is by Fran Gala and executive producer George Klabin at the Resonance Records Studios.
1. Give Me the Simple Life (9:14)
2. Prelude to a Kiss (5:52)
3. Stompin’ at the Savoy (7:12)
4. Li’l Darling (8:09)
5. Ruby, My Dear (8:35)
6. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (2:51)
Resonance Records continues to bring archival recordings to light. Some past releases include the critically acclaimed 2015 Grammy Award-winning John Coltrane release Offering: Live at Temple University (best album notes, Ashley Kahn), Wes Montgomery In the Beginning, Charles Lloyd Manhattan Stories, and Bill Evans Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate. Located in Beverly Hills, CA, Resonance Records is a division of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created to discover the next jazz stars. Resonance Artists include Richard Galliano, Polly Gibbons, Tamir Hendelman, Christian Howes and Donald Vega. www.ResonanceRecords.org
For more information on Wes Montgomery One Night In Indy, please visit: www.ResonanceRecords.org
Hear an exclusive streaming track in PopMatters: popm.at/1k7IOY0
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2015
RESONANCE RECORDS PRESENTS
IN THE BEGINNING
BY JAZZ GUITAR ICON WES MONTGOMERY,
A 26-TRACK COLLECTION OF
RARE AND NEVER-BEFORE-RELEASED
TRACKS SPANNING 1949-1958
ONLY THE THIRD ISSUE OF PREDOMINANTLY UNHEARD MONTGOMERY MATERIAL SINCE HIS PASSING IN 1968;
INCLUDES COMPLETE, NEWLY DISCOVERED 1955 RECORDING SESSION FOR EPIC RECORDS PRODUCED BY QUINCY JONES
In the Beginning due out May 12, 2015 in two-CD deluxe digi-pack and separate three-LP set; features booklet with previously unpublished photos, plus essays and recollections from Quincy Jones, Pete Townshend, Bill Milkowski, Ashley Kahn, producer Zev Feldman, and more.
Includes excerpts from unpublished autobiography by Buddy Montgomery.Instant availability of four tracks with pre-order at iTunes
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — When Echoes of Indiana Avenue came out in 2012, it had been nearly 45 years since a full album of previously unheard Wes Montgomery music had been released. Fortunately, jazz lovers don’t have to wait another half-century for more discoveries from the legendary guitarist’s past. Once again, these treasures arrive to the record-buying public via the musical archaeologists at Los Angeles-based Resonance Records.
In the Beginning features recordings of Wes Montgomery spanning the years 1949 to 1958, the formative years when the six-string virtuoso was honing his craft in Southern Indiana. Since Wes Montgomery’s passing in 1968, only two other albums of predominantly unreleased material have been released: Willow Weep for Me (Verve, 1968) and Echoes of Indiana Avenue (Resonance, 2012). Resonance Records is pleased to introduce the third such archival offering with In the Beginning.
The 26-track collection will be released on May 12, 2015 as two-CD and three-LP sets. The CD version includes a 55-page booklet of liner notes by 2015 GRAMMY® Award-winning journalist and noted jazz historian and biographer Ashley Kahn, legendary producer Quincy Jones, guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who and others, alongside rare never-before-published photos from the Montgomery Estate and friends in Montgomery’s native Indianapolis.
In his liner notes, Kahn refers to In the Beginning as a journey back in time. Listeners will be gripped by the history and experiences underlying these recordings during this time of segregation, a time when the South had a brewing fear of integration. Musicians used back entrances to clubs, only to appear on the bandstand as entertainment, and were asked to leave at the end of their sets. The journey begins on the stage of Indianapolis’ Turf Club in the summer of 1956 and travels backward and forward over the course of two discs until arriving in the studios of Spire Records in Fresno, California in 1949, where a 26-year-old Montgomery was working as a sideman in a band led by tenor saxophonist Gene Morris that featured Sonny Parker on vocals.
This time machine makes stops at the home of younger sister Ervena Montgomery, where Wes uncharacteristically picks up — and solos on — an electric bass; at Indianapolis’ Missile Lounge in November 1958, where Wes is joined by organist and pianist Melvin Rhyne, bassist Flip Stewart and drummer Paul Parker; at the C&C Music Lounge on the South Side of Chicago for a twelve-minute 1957 exploration of “All the Things You Are” with tenor saxophonist Alonzo “Pookie” Johnson; and at Columbia Studios in New York City in 1955, where brothers Wes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery, “Pookie” and drummer Sonny Johnson were recorded and produced by a young Quincy Jones for the then-new Epic Records (recorded at the same studio that Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue). For nearly 60 years, all five songs from that session (except “Love for Sale,” which later appeared on the 1983 Columbia Records compilation Almost Forgotten) have languished in the vaults.
The project began life in the wake of Echoes. Even before that release, Buddy Montgomery’s widow Ann approached producer Zev Feldman and Resonance founder and executive producer George Klabin with the Turf Club, Missile Lounge, and jam session recordings, looking for a respectful home for this never-before-released music. Philip Kahl, a 22-year-old Butler College student, had access to the brothers and recorded them at the aforementioned places with a portable tape recorder.
The revelations snowballed from there. A colleague offered up a tape made at the C&C Music Lounge, and a private collector in Austria revealed three 78 rpm sides featuring Wes as a sideman with Gene Morris and his Hamptones, two of them featuring vocalist Sonny Parker. “The 78s were rare and very difficult to find. Even the Library of Congress didn’t have them,” Feldman says. Drummer and jazz historian Kenny Washington tipped Feldman to the existence of the previously unissued Epic recordings, which were licensed from Sony Music Entertainment. Also included are tracks from the now sold-out limited edition 10” records Live at the Turf Club and Wes Montgomery & the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet issued for Record Store Day in April 2014.
In the Beginning features extensive liner notes and meticulously designed artwork that have become the label’s trademarks. The booklet begins with an introduction by producer Feldman and an essay by Kahn. The package also features a reminiscence by Quincy Jones; a biography of the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet (the name at that time of the brothers’ band with the unrelated Alfonso “Pookie” Johnson and drummer Sonny Johnson) by author and journalist Bill Milkowksi; an interview with Indianapolis- based jazz photojournalist, author and historian Duncan Shiedt, conducted shortly before his death in March 2014; a contribution by Dr. Willis F. Kirk, a drummer and former bandmate of the Montgomery brothers; an interview with Indianapolis native and legendary jazz bassist Dr. Larry Ridley (who was discovered to be the previously unidentified bassist on two tracks from the 2012 release of Echoes of Indiana Avenue, “Diablo’s Dance” and “Nica’s Dream”); and lastly a contribution by fellow guitar icon and lead guitarist and songwriter for the legendary rock group The Who, Pete Townshend. Feldman adds, “I wanted someone who was ‘outside’ the typical jazz guitar circle who admired Wes’s music. I suspected he was a fan of jazz guitar, based on the recording ‘To Barney Kessell’from his album Scoop, so I sent him copies of Echoes in 2012. Having him as a contributor on this project was an honor and privilege.”
In his essay, Townshend writes, “What comes across [in these recordings] is a sense of fun and discovery. There is mischief and experiment. This was a period when jazz was breaking ground on all fronts, and I hadn't realized how sophisticated a guitarist Wes was even in these early days . . . He stopped playing so flashily in the next decade, and concentrated more on atmosphere and expression — his playing became loving, gentle and poetic. He became a romantic. But on these sessions he’s a young blade, rocking out, speeding sometimes, challenged by his brother Buddy on piano who could elaborate either like falling drops of water on a tin roof, or like a machine gun.”
The In the Beginning booklet features passages from Monk Montgomery’s 1980 NEA-sponsored interview with Maggie Hawthorne, along with excerpts from a never-before-released, unpublished autobiography written by Buddy Montgomery. There are recollections by Buddy, including an interview with his sister Ervena. Buddy’s estate provided a wealth of rare photographs, such as a remarkable shot of Wes Montgomery standing behind a pinball machine taken by Philip Kahl at the Turf Club.
The three-LP version is presented on 180-gram vinyl mastered by engineering legend Bernie Grundman, and pressed on 12” LPs at 33 1/3 rpm by Record Technology Incorporated (R.T.I.) in a hand-numbered slipcase with an eight-panel booklet, a digital download card and collector postcards of unpublished photos. Digitally, a “Mastered for iTunes” configuration will also be available, along with a complete digital booklet with all contents contained in the physical editions. If pre-ordered on iTunes http://bit.ly/1HIa8SO, customers will receive four tracks instantly: “Four” (recorded at the Turf Club), “A Night in Tunisia” (recorded at the Missile Lounge), “Far Wes” (recorded for Epic Records in 1955), and “Smooth Evening” (recorded in 1949 for Spire Records).
The set is attractively designed by Burton Yount, who has collaborated with Resonance on previous releases including Wes Montgomery’s Echoes of Indiana Ave and Bill Evans’ Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate. This project is made possible with the help of Robert Montgomery, Wes’s youngest son and the head of the Wes Montgomery Estate, who signed on as associate producer.
In short, as Feldman says, “This is another chapter of previously undiscovered Wes, one which aficionados couldn’t have even hoped existed a few short years ago. Resonance is proud to present another chapter in the legacy of Wes Montgomery.” Finally, if it couldn't get any better for Wes Montgomery fans, Resonance has signed on with the Wes Montgomery Estate to release even more previously unissued music sometime in 2016-2017. Resonance Records is making history preserving and documenting the legacy of Wes Montgomery, even 47 years after the giant’s passing.
In the Beginning is available for pre-order from Resonance Records: www.ResonanceRecords.org. The label will be celebrating the release on Tuesday, May 12 at the famed Indianapolis jazz club, The Jazz Kitchen. For more details visit: http://www.thejazzkitchen.com/event/wes-montgomery-cd-release-party/ .
Resonance Records and the Estate of Wes Montgomery are holding the first Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition. We are looking for the next great jazz guitarist (ages 14-33) from anywhere in the world. The winner will receive $5,000 and the honor of playing with the Pat Martino band at the finalists competition in New York City. For more information visit: www.ResonanceRecords.org/Guitarcontest2015
For more information on In the Beginning and other Wes Montgomery releases, visit www.ResonanceRecords.org.