Nothing short of brilliant
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 02/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album contains some fine understated guitar work from Wes - He doesn't get the long extended solos of some of his more traditional jazz albums - nevertheless, one gets a magnified look at his approach as he sounds very relaxed against the Creed Taylor arrangements. Wes has the distinction of being one of the few instrumentalists who aren't ruined by this more commercial setting - Charlie Parker is one of the other immortals who strangeley benefitted from orchestration. I am blown away by Wes' octave and chordal work on this as well as some single line play on 'Caravan'. He is the envy of all guitarists!"
3 1/2 stars for this cheese sandwich
Eric J. Anderson | Ankeny, Iowa | 12/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Wes' playing is always great. The problem with this album is the songs and the arrangements.
Wes shines when he has a great composition to work from. The middle 5 or so cuts on this CD are not impressive compositions, and the brass-heavy big band arrangements border on the kind of camp we heard in Quincy Jones' Soul Bossa Nova for the Austin Powers movies -- but Movin' Wes is cheese without the wink and the nudge. I confess a weakness for Maynard Ferguson's 1970's work, which some might consider cheesy, but I still think it was classier than this stuff. Movin' Wes I and II, Matchmaker, Matchmaker -- I could do without those.
At the beginning and end of the CD, the arrangements (by Johnny Pate) are more appropriate, the songs are better -- it is four or five star material. Caravan really jumps with big band brass, and I defy anybody to stop their toes from tapping. It is only 2 1/2 minutes, but what a blast! Jule Styne's People is a beautiful slow cut, and Wes makes the most of it. The last four songs are a return to the quality of the first two. Making, as I said, a cheese sandwich.
I have nothing against a jazz artist doing a pop record. Is Getz/Gilberto less of a masterpiece simply because it is easy to take, and it sold a zillion copies? Of course not. Wes' later album Tequila is also an excellent easy listening jazz record, but the songs and arrangements are more consistent than Movin' Wes. (I believe Tequila was arranged by Claus Ogerman.)
Movin' Wes would have made a good Extended Play album. Skip the middle, and you've got a very nice, but very short record."
chavruta | Silver Spring, MD United States | 11/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The guitar playing is some of his most beautiful and mature. It's amazing. And the cheeziness? I actually like it now. It's totally worth it, but I can see where some wouldn't like the arrangements. The orchestra is very good though."