By Gary Fukushima | Published January 2021
Vibraphonist and pianist Charles “Buddy” Montgomery—the youngest brother of Wes Montgomery—had his own notable career on the West Coast, recording original material prior to his 2009 death and providing a rear-window view of the post-bop era.
Montgomery’s discography is the quarry from which pianist Isaiah J. Thompson drew a trove of rare gems for his debut. Thompson, still in his early 20s, displays a serious understanding of past masters, with a hard-swinging rhythmic approach and a harmonic palette informed by jazz, gospel and blues. The album charges out of the gate with “Budini,” a complex head winding around a rapid series of chords, unspooling into a straightahead modal romp. “1,000 Rainbows,” recorded in 1977 with a tinge of funk, is given the ’60s Blue Note treatment: a loping bass/piano figure beneath Thompson’s evocative voicings. Bassist Philip Norris and drummer Willie Jones III execute these complex arrangements with an ease generally heard from established working bands. However, kudos to Montgomery, whose work gets a new turn in the public eye.
Plays The Music Of Buddy Montgomery: Introduction (Irregardless); Budini; Hob Nob With Brother Bob; Muchísimo; Ruffin It; What If?; Here Again; 1,000 Rainbows; Aki’s Blues; My Sentiments Exactly. (44:13)
Personnel: Isaiah J. Thompson, piano; Philip Norris, bass; Willie Jones III, drums; Daniel Sadownick, percussion (1, 4).