Wes Montgomery: One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)
One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)
Wes Montgomery (guitar)
So Much Guitar (Riverside 9382)
Composed by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
Recorded: New York, August 4, 1961
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Harold Arlen's composition may be the ultimate late-night, brokenhearted, drown-your-sorrows-in-booze song. Sinatra owned this territory -- his last commercial session found him rerecording it (with Kenny G!), and a short while later the same piece was performed at the crooner's funeral. But others have also put their stamp on this tearjerker. Bette Midler sang it to Johnny Carson on one of the last episodes of his talk-fest, and even brought tears to the eyes of that seasoned host (and snagged an Emmy for the Divine Miss M). Astaire danced to it, and Cab Calloway sang it behind a cloud of cigarette smoke. But Wes Montgomery stakes out his claim to the standard on this memorable performance from 1961. His guitar lines are very soulful and he puts his personal stamp on every phrase. No guitarist ever played with a better sense of timing and swing than Wes, and he shows here that he can keep the music grooving at a slow-to-medium tempo that often puts seasoned rhythm sections into a rut. A gem of a performance from a giant of the six strings.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia