Monk Montgomery: Reality (Big Break Records)

monk montgomery

Bassist Monk Montgomery came from a family of four talented brothers; the four would make up a hot jazz combo called, rightly, The Montgomery Brothers. The most famous of the four was brother Wes; a successful guitarist, he helped to redefine the role of guitar as a featured instrument. His career was short-lived, as he passed away in 1967. Monk Montgomery was the bassist, and he brought the bass into the spotlight as a leading instrument. Reality was Montgomery’s third solo album; released in 1974, it’s an interesting amalgam of sounds: alongside jazz, there’s a touch of easy listening, tempered with a disco beat, as well as a jaunty little Latin groove. The title track, of course, was the album’s highlight, and its proto-disco groove sounds as vital and fresh as it did forty years ago. The groove gets funky with “Little O’s,” but then turns around and gets mellow and romantic with “Girl Talk,” but one thing never changes, and that’s Montgomery’s signature groove. Reality is an enjoyable record of relaxing, mellow sounds.

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