Jazz: Wesward Ho, or A Day in the Life

The time is 1943. Scene: the 440 Club in Indianapolis. A chunky, exuberant 20-year-old named Wes Montgomery sits on the bandstand. Inspired by the recordings of the great jazz guitarist Charlie Christian ("they burned my ears"), he has bought a guitar with his day-laborer's wages and learned Christian's solos by rote. Now, in his first professional appearance, he plays them through faultlessly.

Listeners at the tables (astonished):

More! More!

Wes plays the same solos through again, note for note. They are all that he has learned so far. Except for them, he can barely pick out a scale.

Other musicians: No, man....

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