Category: Montgomery Wes

Wes Montgomery on “People in Jazz” 1968

Not many interviews with Wes Montgomery around, but here is a little seen one from 1968. Wes speaks with Jim Rockwell on the TV show “People in Jazz”. The quality is poor, but it’s worth it to slog through in order to hear the genius talk about playing! Wes also plays Windy at the end of the video with his brothers Buddy (p) and Monk (b). Enjoy!

—Peter Blasevick

Wes Montgomery in Jazz Monthly May 1965

wesMontgomeryHere is a great interview I stumbled across this morning with the great Wes Montgomery in Jazz Monthly magazine from 1965. The interview is conducted by Valerie Wilmer and covers his family, his famous thumb technique, his first gigs, and more. From the interview:

“When I started I bought the whole works. I got a box of picks because I felt sure there would be the right one in there for me. I refused to play unamplified, so I’m sitting in my house playing, you know – happy, but when I used my brand new amplifier I guess I didn’t think about the neighbours. Soon they started complaining pretty heavy. But I was enjoying myself because it wasn’t noise to me, it was music. But after two months my wife came to the door and asked me would I kindly turn that ‘thing’ off. Well, ‘thing’? It was a guitar and amplifier, you know? So I laid my pick down on the amplifier and just fiddled around with the thumb. I said is that better.? Oh yes, she says, that’s better. So I said I’ll play like this till I get ready to play out, and then I’ll get me a pick. Well, that wasn’t easy either because I found out that I had developed the thumb for playing so that when I got ready to work my first job I picked up a pick and I think I must have lost about fifteen of them! I just didn’t realise that I had to develop my pick technique, too. So I said ‘later’ for the pick. I was just playing for my own amusement so it was great. See, I couldn’t hear the difference in the sound as it is today, so I figured OK, I’ll just use my thumb. Probably a thousand cats are using their thumbs – only they’re not in Indianapolis! The more I learnt about it, I found out that less guys were using their thumbs and I began to get a little frightened!”

Click here to read Wes Montgomery in Jazz Monthly May 1965

—Peter Blasevick