Movin’ ARC!

Yes it’s true, the ARChive of Contemporary Music is on the move—it will be moving out of our current Tribeca location by the summer. In order to commemorate this event, we have placed Movin’ Wes by Wes Montgomery in the window.

Where will the ARC go? At the moment it is undecided—but there have been strong indications that its three million or so articles (records, CDs, posters, books, magazines, etc) could end up in upstate New York (near Reinbeck), in Philadelphia or perhaps even somewhere else in Lower Manhattan. We should know exactly where by March.

Meanwhile, we have this cool Wes Montgomery record to listen to. Montgomery was a legendary jazz guitarist who pioneered the playing of his instrument with his thumb, instead of the usual pick. By doing so, his tone was warm and pleasing. His earlier records especially showcased his Charlie Christian influence—as he was accompanied by mostly post-bop musicians. Recorded in November 1963, Movin’ Wes was his first album for Verve Records, which put him in more of a pop setting, with musicians from the swing tradition, plus Latin percussionist Willie Bobo (who would record for Verve a couple years later).

Creed Taylor—a storied record producer, known for signing John Coltrane to Impulse Records when Taylor headed up that label—produced the album. Taylor was hired away by Verve Records around 1961. Around 1967, when Taylor left Verve to start his own CTI productions, he took Wes Montgomery with him and cut three hit albums. Montgomery died of a heart attack in June 1968.

Of further note regarding this album, the person who arranged and conducted the thirteen-piece orchestra that backs Montgomery is Johnny Pate. At the time, Pate was working for ABC-Paramount Records where he performed similar duties for the recordings of the great Chicago soul vocal group The Impressions.

Anyway, yes, the ARC is on the move. Stay in touch with us at www.arcmusic.org to see where we land. Also, we could use some help boxing things up, so let us know if you will be available to help out.