Wynton Kelly Trio Wes Montgomery Smokin At The Half Note
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Though there has been controversy and misinformation about Wes Montgomery's Frank Zappa Jazz From Hell technique recently released video footage "Wes Montgomery Live in '65" supports the view that his left hand technique had great similarity to that of Django Reinhardt.
Pat Metheny: "I recently saw a video of him playing with a Dutch big band. What knocked me out Jeancy Reservation that he casually looked around-as he used just three left-hand fingers-making it all seem so easy". Very Django. And then there was Wes Montgomery's right hand technique. I was absolutely floored by his technique and what he was doing with his thumb.
You could tell that he had listened to me, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, and others". Rather than pick the strings with a plectrum, a pick or with fingernails, Wes Montgomery simply used his thumb which was by all account double jointed to stroke the strings. The combination with the Django Reinhardt derived left hand technique is a wholly original synthhesis that, as Wynton Kelly Trio Wes Montgomery Smokin At The Half Note Metheny noted: "Even now there are so few guitarists who can play inside a rhythm section and make it swing like that.
A lot of it was the thumb factor. Since he didn't use a pick, he had to not only learn different ways of negotiating tempos, but also innovate ways of getting from point A to point B on the guitar neck. It was not until he was nineteen on hearing Charlie Christian on the radio that he purchased an electric guitar and taught himself to play all of Charlie Christian's recordings note by note.
During his life, he was never able to read music.
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