Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Help for a musically illiterate fan understand Wes Montgomery?

  1. #1
    Registered User Honest Marsh-wiggle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA Dutch Country
    Posts
    38

    Help for a musically illiterate fan understand Wes Montgomery?

    (So I'm next to musically illiterate, but I've been enjoying the world of jazz for a few years now. Consequently I have read some music theory, and been exposed to the normal discussions in liner notes and commentaries. But I'm still both curious and clueless about many aspects of music.)

    I'm trying to understand Wes's use of "octaves" and "block chords"... What made them so difficult? What should I be listening for to tell the difference? I know what an octave is, but what was he doing with them that was special? Is using these techniques still considered outstanding, or have they become part of normal jazz-guitar playing?

    Thanks for any help.
    -Luke

  2. #2
    musician Jeff Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    fringes of the jazz wasteland
    Posts
    1,676
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Marsh-wiggle View Post
    have they become part of normal jazz-guitar playing?
    Yes.

  3. #3
    a momentary ripple drewhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    124
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Marsh-wiggle View Post
    (So I'm next to musically illiterate, but I've been enjoying the world of jazz for a few years now. Consequently I have read some music theory, and been exposed to the normal discussions in liner notes and commentaries. But I'm still both curious and clueless about many aspects of music.)

    I'm trying to understand Wes's use of "octaves" and "block chords"... What made them so difficult? What should I be listening for to tell the difference? I know what an octave is, but what was he doing with them that was special? Is using these techniques still considered outstanding, or have they become part of normal jazz-guitar playing?

    Thanks for any help.
    He plays a note an its octave simultaneously, strumming with his thumb. If you listen to his playing youll hear how it gives a fuller sound. If you have a guitar, try it out!
    http://taimapedia.org/index.php?title=Timelines

  4. #4
    Registered User Honest Marsh-wiggle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA Dutch Country
    Posts
    38
    Thanks guys.
    -Luke

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    63
    Fans of Wes might like this site:

    http://www.wesmontgomery.com/

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    694
    Wes was a supreme melodist, one of the best in ALL of Jazz. Sense of time and swing was impeccable. Supple, effortless lines, always surprising. Very "hip" ideas and never far away from the blues, of which he was an undisputed master. Some may prefer the histrionics of Benson, or the cerebral relentlessness or Martino or Pass, but Montgomery frequently heads Jazz polls for favorite guitarist. The Charlie Parker of guitar.....

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    523
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Marsh-wiggle View Post
    I'm trying to understand Wes's use of "octaves" and "block chords"... What made them so difficult? What should I be listening for to tell the difference? I know what an octave is, but what was he doing with them that was special? Is using these techniques still considered outstanding, or have they become part of normal jazz-guitar playing?
    Octaves and block chords aren't remotely difficult, but playing them fast with just your thumb is challenging. If you don't actually play jazz guitar I wouldn't worry about this stuff too much. Everything you need is on the records. If you've listened to a lot of Wes and also familiarised yourself with his musical milieu (his influences, his collaborators, the generation of playing that grew up imitating him) then all the theory and liner note stuff is kind of superfluous.
    The main thing I learnt in music school is that theory doesn't help you understand music so much as music helps you understand theory.
    Guitarist

  8. #8
    Performer/Teacher
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Marsh-wiggle View Post
    I'm trying to understand Wes's use of "octaves" and "block chords"... What made them so difficult? ...
    Others had used both before. But Wes did them with such fluidity, melodiousness, and "groove" that it set a new standard. No one had heard them used in that way before.

    Peace,
    Kevin

Similar Threads

  1. A Controversial and/or Informative Site
    By Saundra Hummer in forum Current Events
    Replies: 9048
    Last Post: March 7th, 2014, 08:49 AM
  2. The All Birthdays Jazz Thread
    By still life in forum Artists & Bands
    Replies: 3163
    Last Post: December 7th, 2012, 08:37 PM
  3. Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize
    By papsrus in forum Current Events
    Replies: 92
    Last Post: October 17th, 2007, 07:41 AM
  4. 1959: The Most Creative Year In Jazz
    By shawn·m in forum Discographies
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: May 13th, 2005, 10:55 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




Support the All About Jazz website and forum. Make a donation today!



Download the Jazz Near You iOS app

Download the Jazz Near You iOS app - Free!

Never miss another jazz concert again! Jazz Near You is a simple yet powerful way for fans to discover who is playing where and when. Access local jazz events by date, by distance, by venue, by musician or by festival; map to venues, set reminders, and get detailed information about musicians. Jazz Near You is your complete guide to jazz music near you! Download it now.



Visit All About Jazz at Twitter   Twitter Visit All About Jazz at Facebook   Facebook Use the All About Jazz content widgets on your website or blog   Widgets Subscribe to the All About Jazz RSS feeds   Feeds


All About Jazz | Jazz Near You | Jazz Musician Directory | Jazz News | Jazz Photo Gallery