Wes Montgomery’s second album The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (released in 1960) is an extraordinarily durable album that stands today as a monumental achievement of jazz guitar genius. It comes as no surprise to me that Fantasy chose this particular album for their SACD reissue series.
Montgomery was self-taught, which makes his artistry that much more incredible and precious. Although all six tracks are equally superb, it was evident to me that the first two compositions really set the pace for the entire album. Fluid six-string workouts such as "Airegin" and "D-Natural Blues" put his rare talent into a category all by itself. Personally, Montgomery reminded me of one of my all time favorites Joe Pass, not because of his style but for the effortless precision of every note he produced. His accompaniment was outstanding as well; Tommy Flanagan (piano), Percy Heath (bass) and Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums) were a valuable compliment to the singularity of his master guitar work.
I think its obvious now to those audiophiles that purchase music in this format what the difference is. The SACD offers clear and crisp separation of each instrument, which is extremely important when listening to a good jazz recording as far as I am concerned. Whoever developed the SACD must have been a true appreciator of great jazz music.