“Wes Montgomery: So Much Guitar!” was recorded on
August 4, 1961 for the Riverside label, and produced by
Orrin Keepnews who also wrote the liner notes. Joe Tarantino
digitally remastered this recording in 1987. This enjoyable
album is another example of the excellent, straightforward
playing that resulted from placing Wes Montgomery’s stellar
abilities in the studio with a great rhythm section.

The eight songs on tap here are a mix of ballads, up-tempo
swingers and Blues numbers, including “While We’re Young,”
an unaccompanied Wes Montgomery solo tune. We should
remember that Montgomery used only the thumb of his right
hand when playing; however, this technique obviously worked
for him. Two of these songs were written by Montgomery,
and others include Duke Ellington’s “Cotton Tail,” and
Harold Arlen’s (1905-1986) “One for My Baby.”

An unusual ingredient in this lineup was the inclusion of
Ray Barretto’s conga drumming on some of these songs,
as an added percussion instrument. All of the arrangements
and playing are topnotch, with memorable choruses provided
by both Montgomery and Hank Jones. The remastered sound
is quite good as well, making this 39-minute CD particularly