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Wes Montgomery: Early Recordings By A Late Guitar Great

The new compilation <em>Echoes of Indiana Avenue</em> collects rare early recordings by jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.
The new compilation <em>Echoes of Indiana Avenue</em> collects rare early recordings by jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.

When legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery died in 1968, the list of his recordings filled an entire page — single-spaced. Now, more space is needed, because a significant new collection of previously unreleased Wes Montgomery music is out this month on a new compilation, Echoes of Indiana Avenue.

The album features the earliest recordings of a jazz musician who became a pop star. Montgomery created hit recordings of "Goin' Out of My Head," "Windy," and "California Dreamin'" — but he took grief from jazz critics who thought he had tamped down his immense talent as an improviser to reach a mass audience.

On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR editor and guitar aficionado Tom Cole speaks with Susan Stamberg about how Montgomery's performance on Echoes of Indiana Avenue fits in the context of his iconic career.

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