Bobby Broom on Wes Montgomery’s 1959 Jazz Guitar Impact
Jazz guitarist Bobby Broom became one of the top guitarists in modern Jazz in part because of the inspiration of the great Jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. His group the Deep Blue Organ Trio with organist Chris Foreman and drummer Greg Rockingham continues the work of Montgomery that began with his landmark 1959 album, as Bobby explains in this YouTube video:
“Much has been made of the year 1959 in the history of Jazz music. It’s been called its most prolific year. It’s been called the year Jazz died. In any case, the recordings such as Ornette Colman’s Shape of Jazz to Come Charles Mingus’ Ah Um, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out at least indicated the diversity in the terrain of the music and was also a foreshadowing of more diversity to come.
One figure that is grossly ignored, and significant to this year 1959 in Jazz, is the iconic Wes Montgomery, the Jazz guitarist from Indianapolis who emerged in 1959 with his first trio record of his fellow Indianapolis band mates. The name of the record was A Dynamic New Sound for Guitar, Organ and Drums. It ushered in a figure that became one of the most celebrated, if not the most celebrated, on the instrument in Jazz music.
This began his illustrious career which ended in an untimely fashion in 1968. Just a couple of years prior to Wes’ death, he reached crossover stardom by creating instrumental hits of popular music, and was probably at that time the biggest selling Jazz artist.
Wes introduced a brand new approach to playing the guitar. Techniques that were really unexplored before him. The octave technique that you hear behind me and his chord melody and chord soloing playing still is today unmatched, and definitely a revelation to Jazz guitar playing.
So, when mention is made of 1959, I just can’t help but include him. He is, to me, being a guitar player, as important as the rest.”