At number 48 on the Roots Music Report Jazz Chart this week sits the latest release from jazz guitarist, Graham Dechter, Takin’ It There. The first track on the album is titled “Road Song” Hum, could this be Wes Montgomery’s “Road Song”? After the first few notes, it was obvious that it was!! Here’s a bit about the Takin’ It There from AllMusic….
….Guitarist Graham Dechter’s follow-up to his strong debut recording is another fine effort, utilizing the same rhythm section, consisting of pianist Tamir Hendelman, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Unlike many young instrumentalists, Dechter isn’t one to overplay or sound like a clone of his favorite stylists, allowing the music to breathe and taking full advantage of his skilled supporting cast. Opening with a funky take of Wes Montgomery’s infrequently recorded “Road Song,” he then turns his attention to Barney Kessel’s obscure bluesy bop vehicle “Be Deedle Dee Do,” sharing the spotlight with Clayton in a tasty performance. Dechter’s breezy interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Chega de Saudade [No More Blues]” features his intricate solo…..
A quick read of Graham’s biography, reveals the reason the songs of Wes Montgomery and Bernie Kessel appear on Graham’s album:
An accomplished guitarist, composer and arranger, Graham Dechter plays with the kind of swinging authority and seasoned maturity that belies his young age. The 26-year-old Los Angeles native, a member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra since he was 19, shows a deep reverence for the jazz guitar tradition in his warm-toned renditions of ballads, bossas, bebop and blues. A formidable soloist and consummate accompanist, he imbues standards with rare enthusiasm and an inherent bluesiness while carving out his own path with several affecting original compositions.
While most contemporary jazz guitarists today are coming out of the six-string trinity of John Scofield, Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell or heavily emulating modern day guitar stars like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dechter’s tastes are firmly rooted in a different aesthetic. A talent deserving of wider recognition, Dechter follows in the lineage of his guitar heroes like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Grant Green and Herb Ellis. “I tend to veer towards the real swinging stuff,” says Dechter. “I love listening to and appreciate many different styles of music, both within and out of the jazz idiom. But in terms of my own conception, I really live in that swinging realm. Guitarists like Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, as well as other instrumentalists like Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ben Webster — all of those musicians have been a huge influence on my playing.”
After quick listens to both Graham’s albums I think his music will join his hero Wes Montgomery in my musical library!!
Sources and Links
Here’s the Graham Dechter Quartet performing Wes’ “Road Song” Good Stuff!! Check Out Wes’ version here,