The Unmistakable Jazz Guitar

How did I manage to miss Wes Montgomery’s profile on NPR last week? Well, better late than never:

Wes’ lush, inimitable sound was a product of his unusual stylistic approach. Guitarist Lee Ritenour explains how Wes played with his thumb as opposed to a pick, freeing himself from rhythmic constraints and typical phrasing. According to Wes, thumb-plucking and his technique of “playing two notes at the same time an octave apart” were both accidental revelations. While Wes was not the only guitarist to utilize the octave approach, he did so with incomparable “freedom and fluidity,” and the technique “became one of his trademarks.”

Download the program here.