In his liner notes, Orrin Keepnews, Wes Montgomery's first producer and former boss at the Riverside label states that it was arranger Oliver Nelson's goal with GOIN' OUT OF MY HEAD to present Montgomery's guitar as a melody instrument, rather than as a soloist. This certainly happens on the ballads that make up at least half this set. It's probably just as well that doing so finally sold some records and gave the guitar-playing father of six a more solid income for the last few years of his life.
However, most Montgomery aficionados still usually just want to hear him blow. And there's some solid jazz to be found here. Not surprisingly, it happens the most on the Montgomery originals "Boss City," Naptown Blues," and "Twisted Blues," but Montgomery also gets into it for real with the rhythm section on "Chim Chim Cheree"; after the orchestrations are over, he careens off Grady Tate's insistent drumming with exuberance and abandon.
Donald Byrd, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal (tp) Wayne Andre, Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, Donny Moore, Tony Studd (tb) Phil Woods (as, cl) Jerry Dodgion (as, cl, fl, picc) Romeo Penque (ts, cl, fl, picc, ob, ehr) Danny Bank (bars, fl, afl, bcl) Bob Ashton (sax, cl, fl) Herbie Hancock or Roger Kellaway (p) Wes Montgomery (g) George Duvivier (b) Grady Tate or Sol Gubin (d) Candido Camero (cga) Oliver Nelson (arr, cond).
01 Goin' Out of My Head
03 Bass City
04 Chim Chim Cheree - (From Disney's 'Mary Poppin')
05 Naptown Blues
06 Twisted Blues
07 End of a Love Affair
08 It Was a Very Good Year
09 Golden Earrings