IBJNews

Rare Wes Montgomery recordings up for auction

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Previously unreleased recordings of late Indianapolis jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery are up for auction on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity.

The recordings, packaged as a limited edition vinyl album, are called “Echoes of Indiana Avenue,” in reference to the downtown district that once thrived as an African-American cultural center. Bids will be accepted until about 8:45 p.m. Friday.

As of mid-morning Friday, 21 bids had been entered for the first-edition recording, topping out at $255. Proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association.

Born in Indianapolis, Montgomery died of a heart attack in 1968 at the age of 45. Many modern jazz guitarists consider him to be their greatest influence.

The recordings are offered by Resonance Records, a division of the Beverly Hills, Calif., not-for-profit Rising Stars Jazz Foundation. It restored tapes of Montgomery’s music discovered in the 1990s.

The not-for-profit had hoped the album would fetch at least $1,000, Resonance spokesman Jordy Freed said.

“Since we’re not profiting, we’re really looking to make as much money for the heart association as possible,” he said.

Whatever amount is raised is fine with Lynne Griffin, the association’s health equity director for the Indiana region.

“Whether it’s a dime or a thousand,” she said, “we’re going to be satisfied and grateful.”

“Echoes of Indiana Avenue” showcases Montgomery performing at Indianapolis nightclubs in 1957 and 1958, before his more popular professional recordings.

He signed to the Riverside Records label in 1959 and remained there until late 1963, just before the company went bankrupt. The recordings made during that period are considered by jazz historians to be his best and most influential.

A guitarist unknown to Resonance somehow got ahold of the Montgomery tapes used to make “Echoes” in 1990. After trying unsuccessfully to sell the tapes, he contacted music producer Michael Cuscuna, who acquired the tapes and received approval from the Montgomery estate to re-record them.

The limited edition “Echoes” recording up for auction also contains rare studio cuts on both vinyl and compact disc, as well as rare photographs.

Resonance Records is hailing “Echoes” as the first previously unreleased work of Montgomery’s in more than 25 years. The not-for-profit ordered 1,000 vinyl copies of “Echoes,” all of which have been sold, it said. It also is selling a compact disc version.

To commemorate the event, Resonance plans to host a release party in Indianapolis at The Jazz Kitchen on North College Avenue at 6:30 p.m. on March 6.

The Indy Jazz Guitar Summit is scheduled to perform, and speakers include Montgomery’s son, Robert Montgomery; Melvin Rhyne and Mingo Jones, both of whom are featured on the album; jazz photographer Duncan Schiedt; and Zev Feldman, “Echoes” producer and executive vice president and general manager of Resonance Records.

Chuck Workman of local jazz and classical radio station WICR-FM 88.7 will serve as master of ceremonies.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Proceeds for IJF
    It would be really cool if the proceeds went to the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and its educational and Hall of Fame program!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

ADVERTISEMENT