Wes Montgomery: California Dreaming
Wes Montgomery (guitar)
20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection (Hip-O 4588)
Wes Montgomery (guitar), Bernie Glow (trumpet), Jimmy Nottingham (trumpet), Bill Watrous (trombone), Jimmy Buffington (French horn), Herbie Hancock (piano), Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Richard Davis (bass), Grady Tate (drums), Ray Barretto (percussion),
Mel Davis (trumpet), Wayne Andre, John Messner, (trombone); Don Butterfield (tuba), Stan Webb, Wally Kane, Ray Beckenstein (woodwinds), Jack Jennings (vibes), Al Casamenti (guitar).
Composed by John & Michelle Phillips; arranged by Don Sebesky.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., September 14, 1966
Rating: 84/100 (learn more)
In 1963, the year California overtook New York as the most populous state, folk-rockers John and Michelle Phillips were living in New York, writing a song about longing for L.A. In 1966, with "California Dreamin'" a top hit for The Mamas and the Papas, Wes Montgomery heard in it the mystical ka-ching of cash registers. Wes wasn't the only mid-'60s jazz master to become a pop schlockmeister. In retrospect, though, knowing that in less than two years he'd be dead at 45, it's particularly tragic that Wes squandered his huge gift on hooey. He deserved better, and so do we.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz