For starters, it is impossible to go wrong with the personnel on FULL HOUSE. With a rhythm section comprised of alumni from Miles Davis's first quintet (Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums) and the blazing tenor saxophone of Johnny Griffin complementing Wes Montgomery's bop leads on guitar, listeners will know they are in for a wild ride even before the album begins.
Add to this an enthusiastic audience in a Berkeley jazz club in 1962 (where the performance was recorded), and one has a full house in more ways than one. Post bop with a soulful, bluesy edge is the flavor of the day here, and the group works out accordingly on Dizzy Gillespie's "Blue 'N' Boogie" and on Montgomery's own compositions, the title track and "Cariba," both of which meld shuffle-boogaloo rhythms to bop pyrotechnics, casting the whole in a soul-jazz vibe.
A beautiful, smoothed-out read of "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is a showcase for Montgomery's cool, melting tone. Listeners will undoubtedly wish they were in the audience in Berkeley that night; but listening to FULL HOUSE is the next best thing. (The Extended Resolution reissue of the CD provides superior audiophile quality.
Personnel: Wes Montgomery (guitar); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Jimmy Cobb (drums). Recorded live at Tsubo, Berkeley, California on June 25, 1962. Originally released on Riverside (9434). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews. Personnel: Wes Montgomery (guitar); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Wynton Kelley (piano); Paul Chambers (bass guitar); Jimmy Cobb (drums). Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
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