Five Bucks Well Spent


During my cross-most-of-the-country trip, I visited a few pawnshops and junk shops. One of them had good clean copies of several LPs including Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow, Leon Russell And The Shelter People, and the iconic Super Session. Plus this one. I didn’t take this picture — the record is currently spinning on my MMF-5.1se and I’m too lazy to photograph it.

Road Song, recorded in 1968, is a great example of listener-friendly jazz. Most jazz biographers — most jazz people in general — would like to pretend that A Love Supreme was the last jazz record ever made, but in fact there was plenty of music in the genre recorded during the Sixties and Seventies that was neither hard bop nor fusion. Here we have Wes with strings, Wes playing Beatles covers, Simon&Garfunkel covers, what much of the listening audience would consider a Sinatra cover. This is not the fearless Smokin’-At-The-Half-Note Wes Montgomery. More like Uncle Wes, really, a great platter for a rainy afternoon or a late evening.


11 Replies to “Five Bucks Well Spent”

  1. CGHill

    And an import copy, at that. Color me impressed.

    Creed Taylor produced some highly underrated stuff in those days. I am occasionally called on to defend George Benson’s The Other Side of Abbey Road, which combines most of that Beatles album into five sort-of-jams.

    • Jack Post author

      That’s a great record. As I recall, George had it on the shelves within 30 days of Abbey Road, which meant that in urban markets they got his FIRST.

      Also… “McLemore Avenue” by Booker T and the MGs.

  2. Ronnie Schreiber

    Also very good is George Benson’s White Rabbit, like the album above, produced by Creed Taylor and arranged by Don Sebesky. Of course, with a backing band made up in part by Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira it should be good.

    I don’t have Road Song but I do have Blow By Blow, Leon Russel & the Shelter People, and Super Session on vinyl. I remember when Blow By Blow came out. Two friends with completely different musical tastes raved to me about it and insisted that I had to get it. I figured that if it appealed to such diverging tastes, it had to be good.

  3. Pch101

    I’m fond of the earlier stuff. If you have the time, this is worth checking out:

    The first 29 minutes are from a 1965 Dutch TV show with Dutch musicians backing him up — it’s a sort of live jam that includes the Dutch guy learning their parts on the fly and winging it. Despite the apparent lack of rehearsal and some mistakes, I enjoyed watching them work it out in front of an audience.

    The remainder is from a Belgian TV appearance with his own band. Starts out with a nice version of “Impressions.” Nice performance.

  4. galactagog

    Ha I just picked up blow by blow too. .awesome record that I only had on cassette before

    “Wired” is good too….I can listen to both those records and only focus on the drums, whoever that was sure smoked. I think the drummer wrote mist of the tubes on BBB?

  5. kvndoom

    Back in the 1990’s when I was big into GRP label jazz, I bought Lee Ritenour’s “Wes Bound,” which I thought was a fantastic tribute album. Check it out if you can still find it.

    A couple tracks had “too much Bob James” as I liked to comment, but it was still a fun listen.


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