Wes (né John Leslie) Montgomery was born on March 6, 1923 in Indianapolis and was one of three brothers (the others being pianist/vibist Buddy and bassist Monk) who pursued careers as professional musicians. Montgomery was self-taught. He went out on the road for a year in 1948 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, but for the most part stayed in Indianapolis playing in local clubs. He first recorded for the Pacific Jazz lable, but really set the jazz world on fire when he signed with Riverside Records in 1959. He would eventually attain great commercial success with his Verve and A&M recordings. When he died from a heart attack on June 15, 1968, his version of the tune “Windy” was still on the pop music charts.
photo: from booklet ‘In Paris – The Definitive ORTF Recording’
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