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Smokin at the Half Note [Original recording remastered]

Wes MontgomeryAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $13.13 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2005 $5.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2005 $13.13  
Vinyl, 2013 $36.19  
Audio Cassette --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. No BluesWynton Kelly Trio12:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. If You Could See Me NowWynton Kelly Trio 8:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Unit 7Wynton Kelly Trio 6:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Four On SixWynton Kelly Trio 6:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. What's New?Wynton Kelly Trio 6:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Willow Weep For MeWes Montgomery 9:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Portrait Of JennieWynton Kelly Trio 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Surrey With The Fringe On TopWynton Kelly Trio 6:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Oh, You Crazy MoonWynton Kelly Trio 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. MistyWynton Kelly Trio 6:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Impressions (1965/Live In New York)Wynton Kelly Trio 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Wes Montgomery Store


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With a lot of sleuthing and a team of experts on the case, long lost tapes of Wes Montgomery have been discovered and restored. Resonance Records will release Echoes of Indiana Avenue - the first full album of previously unheard Montgomery music in over 25 years - on March 6, 2012, which would have been Montgomery's 88th birthday. Over a year and a half in the making, the release will ... Read more in Amazon's Wes Montgomery Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Smokin at the Half Note + Full House + The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Price for all three: $36.05

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0006VXF4G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Wes Montgomery brought the art of the electric guitar to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s before his untimely death at 43. His vaulting style employed octaves much as his main influence, Charlie Christian, did in the Benny Goodman Sextet. Montgomery's crowd-pleasing facility with the fretboard was best employed in live performance when he could stretch out and really be heard. Smokin' is a thoroughly satisfying live album recorded in 1965 and 1966 at the New York nightclub, with co-leader Wynton Kelly and his trio--Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Montgomery and Kelly are in perfect sync here, especially on "No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now." --John Swenson

Product Description

The Wynton Kelly Trio and Wes just tear up this set of standards and originals on this 1965 LP. They do Willow Weep for Me; Misty; No Blues; If You Could See Me Now; What's New; Impressions , and more!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fire that won't go out. February 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This remastered, expanded edition of the classic Wes Montgomery-Wynton Kelly session is essentially an economy-priced version of the import, "The Complete Live at the Half Note." If you have the original "Smokin' at the Half Note" and are not a Wes completist, the audio quality of this version is not sufficiently superior, imo, to justify purchase. As for the addition of six previously unreleased tunes, only "Impressions" might be considered essential. Still, it's reassuring to see that Wes' popularity continues to be supported by new editions of his work.

Wes did not receive widespread public recognition until he was 35, and he was barely 44 when he died. Still, it's unlikely any other guitarist (including Christian and Django) has had a greater impact in the history of this music. By the time he had moved on from Riverside to this session for Verve, he had little to prove to musicians and was beginning to accept more accessible, popular assignments that would broaden his appeal to the general public. "Smokin'," despite lacking any tunes as challenging as "Airegin" ("The Incredible Guitar Artistry of"), can stand alongside his Riverside work as an example of creative, inspired playing. And the presence of Wyn Kelley along with Chambers and Cobb definitely raises the swing factor a notch.

What sets Wes apart from the field is not pyrotechnical legerdemain or bold innovation but every "little" thing that he does so well so effortlessly so much of the time. The sound he gets out of the instrument is of itself a marvel. It has a deep and meaty, utterly natural, resonance, almost as if the tone is doubling itself, reminding me less of other guitarists than of Bird and Clifford. Additionally, there's never a microsecond of doubt in his playing or solo constructions.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of two Wes Classics October 23, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This cd and "Full House" are Wes Montgomery's two best cd's, and they are both live. If you like the one, get the other. If you have both, buy anything Wes did on Riverside. All those cd's are great!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guitar god January 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD
with so many great guitar players referring to him as their favorite it was time to delve into jazz (a music I never really found myself loving - aside from bits of Django- )but after a couple of listens it's easy to overlook the grandiose over dramatic piano solos and buzzy bass noise.

This is a great album - Montgomery at first sounds choppy by comparison to Django who always struck me as just pure fluidity.
M. seems to want you to hear every note, clear and strong - his tone is very basic - a big jazzbox clearly amped - and you can hear him wide open - each formula piece of his lyrical leads is done with such casual ease you'd think it was something programmed. Players say he was "on" this night - and when you get your ear tuned to the musical style "be-bop" I guess - you can hear him fiddling with "salt-peanuts" and other brass instrument lines that come from his hands with ease.

a great album.
even for a die-hard punk enthusaist.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Brilliant! This is just smokin hot!!! December 7, 2006
By JoeyD
Format:Audio CD
Talk about a foursome! This is one of my top twenty favorite albums. Anyone who plays the guitar needs to purchase this album just to hear why many consider Wes to be the greatest guitar player in jazz history. I was actually turned on to this album by a buddy of mine who played guitar for a speed metal band. He was in awe, just as I was the first time I heard it and everytime I hear it to this day! However, it's not just Montgomery that shines. The rythm section of Cobb, Kelly and Chambers just might be the best you will ever hear. They are simply flawless and this is a 'live' album to boot. Chambers is my second favorite bass player right behind Mingus and he has never been better. I always thought that Jimmy Cobb was one of the most underated drummers of his time. This is also my favorite work of Wynton Kelly. His piano playing compliments Montgomery perfectly. All four of these artists brought their 'A' game to the table during this live session (augmented by a couple of studio tracks as well) and it really shows throughout. This one is truly special and everytime I hear it I enjoy it more than the last time (I always pick up something new!). I will not pretend to be a music and/or jazz scholar, nor am I a musician. I am however, someone who has listened to thousands of albums of all types of music (rock, jazz, soul, ska, punk, reggae, rap, country, bluegrass, folk, classical, etc...) and yet nothing puts a smile on my face and serenity in my soul like this does. All I have to say is thank you to the heavens for creating such wonderful artists who created such wonderful sounds. Beautiful music like this truly does help alleviate the pain and ennui of living in today's not so beautiful world.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused? June 3, 2009
Format:Audio CD
There are 3 CD versions of Smokin out there, before you buy, consider
"Impressions: the Verve Jazz sides" which contains all the songs on this re-issue plus some additional material from the same session

It also includes a disk of a selection of the orchestral recordings. IMO it is a dismal selection of that material, but doesn't matter because the 2nd disk containing the Smokin sessions and more is worth the price.

The "Smokin' " session is everthing the other reviews say it is. Arguably Wes at his best and certainly some of the best jazz of the period on record. Of all the recorded versions of Four On Six the 2nd live version is included on the Impressions set may be the best. If you have only heard the studio track, check this one!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The smooth guitar of Wes.
Published 1 month ago by Ron
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Great recording of a live radio session. If you love jazz guitar, or jazz music in general, you'll love this CD.
Published 8 months ago by mark
5.0 out of 5 stars No better smokin' than this.
I've ordered this record but it hasn't yet arrived ... and I've got lots of this musician and I want to say something now, before it comes, because I know that this music is... Read more
Published 9 months ago by stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars virtuosity at it's best
Wes is a master. it was a long time since I heard this group. I only wish I had listened more often. This CD is great.
Published 13 months ago by Jabber
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great album!
Wes Montgomery is a super musician and if you don't have this album you are missing something quite nice indeed.
Published 23 months ago by jack goldman
5.0 out of 5 stars An album that's essential for Guitarists
This is one live recording that one can never be tired of since it mostly captures the great Wes Montgomery in peak form long before he went the "commercial" route with Creed... Read more
Published on July 18, 2012 by Dennis W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the absolute best Wes Montgomery tracks are here
If you had to buy one album by Wes, this is the one. If you had to buy just one straight ahead jazz guitar album, in my opinion, this is it. Read more
Published on January 5, 2012 by Dave Lincoln
5.0 out of 5 stars the very best
The cd arrived promptly and in perfect condition. Thank you. The music is beyond criticism: the Wynton Kelly trio with Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums had been... Read more
Published on April 2, 2011 by Rolf Wolfswinkel
5.0 out of 5 stars Wes? yes
smokin' at the half note is without a doubt, smokin'. This is great jazz, even better if you enjoy jazz guitar. his style is sick, with wicked smokin' flow. Read more
Published on February 2, 2010 by Derek D. Mccain
5.0 out of 5 stars My 'Full House' review goes for 'Smokin' at the half note' too...
Let's not waste each others time with words. This is just music from heaven! Let it speak for itself!
Published on October 28, 2009 by Veerle Anthonis
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