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Bags Meets Wes Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 4, 2008
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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listen  1. S.K.J. 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Stablemates (Take 4) 5:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Stairway To The Stars (Take 3) 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
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listen  5. Sam Sack 6:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Jingles (Take 9) 6:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Delilah (Take 4) 6:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Stablemates (Take 2) 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Stairway To The Stars (Take 2) 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
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Bags Meets Wes + The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery + Full House
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Riverside
  • ASIN: B0012S5A04
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,119 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2008 24 bit remaster from the original master tapes.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 22 customer reviews
This has to be one of my all-time favorite jazz albums, hands down.
A Minstrel in the Gallery
Benny Golson's STABLEMATES gets a nice up-tempo reading, kicked off by a short Jones drum solo, follwed by excellent solos by Wes, Milt, and Barry Harris on piano.
Bomojaz
I have an extensive collection of Wes' recordings, and they're all great, especially his early small group albums for Riverside.
Bill Ruxton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A warped vinyl copy finally prompted replacement. Though a purchase of necessity for me, the bonus tracks and judiciously remastered sound of the CD reissue make it an attractive pick-up even for an owner of a vintage LP copy.

To state that Bags makes a more satisfying complement to Wes' musical voice than to Coltrane's (which is not to say that the Jackson-Coltrane session is without its own merits) may be obvious, given their mutual love of that common ground of blues and basic, pretty melodies that, for lack of a better term, was synonymous with "soul jazz" in the late 50's/early 60's. Small wonder that even the normally unfailingly hip, often "in-a-hurry" Philly Joe can't resist providing a big back-beat to the no-holds-barred funk of the three lead soloists (once he settles in behind Wyn Kelly on "Blue Roz," you wish they'd keep it going for another couple of rounds). And listen to Wes comping behind Bags on "Sam Sack," supplying not just chords but infectious riffs.

It's fascinating to hear how this particular rhythm section meshes. Paul Chambers was the paragon of bass players, but listening to Sam Jones' gritty, more focused tone and more unforgiving pulse reminds me that he wasn't far behind the master. And whereas Paul could occasionally lose concentration, going along with the speed-up pulse of Philly Joe or the occasionally yielding one of Jimmy Cobb, Sam keeps Philly Joe in the pocket through all of the musical proceedings here.

Finally, Riverside did admirably by players like these (not to mention Bill Evans and the Adderley brothers). The drums and cymbals may not be as "forward" and the bass and piano as blatantly present as on a Blue Note-Van Gelder date.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M. Mason on December 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
... as I do, then you cannot pass this album by. It is just lovely playing by two wonderfully fluent soloists. My only quibble is with the extra takes on some of the numbers that have been inserted to make the original album a bit longer. They are good takes, but it would be better if the repeat takes were all placed at the end. Yes, I know you can rerecord the CD yourself and put the tracks in the order that you want...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By scottkh@kenyon.edu on August 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Good ensemble players and two super-stars of 20th century jazz make this one a keeper. The repeated takes are rather redundant, but the inventive, controlled soloing on this album makes for rewarding listening. Personal favorite -- Delilah. For a vastly different take on SKJ (this record's first track) check out MJ's "Sunflower" album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Ruxton on February 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
'Bags Meets Wes' was one of the first jazz LPs I acquired way back in the 60s, and it's still my all-time favorite. I never tire of listening to the masterful virtuosity and interplay of Wes, Milt, and Wynton Kelly with the able support of Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones. The opening riff of the first track, S.K.J. (Mrs. Jackson's initials) always blows me away, and keeps me there throughout the rest of the tracks.

You can tell from the grins on Milt's ("Bags") and Wes' faces on the cover photo that something special was going on here when Riverside's brilliant producer, Orrin Keepnews, got these two pals together to record in New York in December 1961.

I have an extensive collection of Wes' recordings, and they're all great, especially his early small group albums for Riverside. Even the later Verve sessions with heavy-handed Oliver Nelson arrangements of sappy pop tunes still show what he could do with lesser material and the confines of a large orchestra chart. But this album is the one I always come back to.

Any fan of jazz guitar, small combos, or aspiring jazz guitarist needs to listen to this album.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Reddy on June 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Milt Jackson was 38 when, in December 1961, he co-led this superb hard-bop date with the distinctive guitarist Wes Montgomery. A jazzman who was as opinionated as he was gifted, Jackson wouldn't hesitate to tell you exactly what he thought of a musician -- so when he praised Montgomery, you knew his praise was genuine. Not surprisingly, the boppers prove to be quite compatible on Bags Meets Wes, which finds them co-leading an all star-quintet that also includes pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Philly Joe Jones (who shouldn't be confused with swing drummer Jo Jones). Although Jackson and Montgomery prove what lyrical ballad players they could be on the standard "Stairway to the Stars," ballads aren't a high priority on this album. Instead, the improvisers put more of their energy into the blues -- and the 12-bar format serves them well on "Sam Sack," "Blue Roz," and "S.K.J." Equally strong are hard-swinging versions of Montgomery's "Jingles" and Benny Golson's "Stablemates."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on April 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Vibes master Milt Jackson had a very long recording career, while guitarist Wes Montgomery had a sadly short one, and for real jazz, even shorter, since when he signed with the Verve label he did pop songs in pop style. However, in late 1961 these players spent two days making this recording for the Riverside label, and now it has been remastered and reissued with alternate takes and extensive booklet notes. It is beautiful all the way through. If you find the sounds of vibes or electric jazz guitar pleasing (and I hope you do) get this CD before it disappears from the marketplace. The piano, bass and drums are all done well here also, by very respected pros.
You will get more than an hour of gently swinging lovely music, by men who deserve to be listened to again and again.
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