"Wes Montgomery remains one of the undisputed greats of Modern Jazz guitar. To hear the man at his best is to luxuriate in the elevated energies of 'Smokin’ at the Half Note,' an LP co-billing him with the impeccable trio of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. That set has been freshly reissued in Verve/UMe’s Acoustic Sound Series, and for consumers of vinyl with a passion for post-bop jazz, its acquisition is absolutely essential." — Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District, May 16, 2023.
This important historic jazz record pairs guitar virtuoso Wes Montgomery with Miles Davis' rhythm section — featuring Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Wynton Kelly on piano.
This is timeless music that has inspired innumerable jazz guitarists and aficionados. In fact, jazz guitar great Pat Metheny has said, "I learned to play listening to Wes Montgomery's Smokin' At The Half Note." Metheny additionally said that the solo on "If You Could See Me Now" is his favorite of all time.
This legendary session was recorded at a New York nightclub. It captures Montgomery at the height of his improvisational powers. Many consider it the best performance on record by one of the most inventive guitarists in jazz history.
Highlights include the Miles Davis opener, "No Blues" and the following track, Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now." And the album's versions of "Unit 7" and "Four On Six" have helped to establish these songs as jazz standards.