John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery was an American jazz guitarist. He was born (March 6, 1925) in Indianapolis, Indiana, part of a musical family including his brothers, Monk (string bass, electric bass) and Buddy (vibraphone, piano). He died of a heart attack on June 15, 1968. He is the grandfather of actor Anthony Montgomery.
Montgomery started learning guitar only in his late teens, listening obsessively to recordings of his idol, Charlie Christian. Within a relatively short period of time, he could play Christian solos verbatim.
Montgomery was not skilled at reading music, but he had an instinctive knowledge of jazz harmony and an incredible command of the fretboard. Along with the use of octaves for which he is widely known, Montgomery was also an excellent single-line player, and was very influential in the use of block chords in his solos.
Montgomery employed an interesting guitar technique; he did not use a pick. Rather, he plucked the strings with the fleshy part of his thumb, using downstrokes for single notes and a combination of upstrokes and downstrokes for chords and octaves. This technique enabled him to get a mellow, exp...
|date of birth||March 6, 1925|
|place of birth||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|date of death||June 15, 1968|
|place of death||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|