Let's put the hook in right from the jump: Echoes of Indiana Avenue is perhaps the most significant release of previously unissued material by a major jazz artist since the The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane: At Carnegie Hall appeared in 2005. That's not hyperbole. These tapes, which consist of two live recordings and one studio demo, were cut, presumably, between 1957 and 1958, with various groupings of musicians, including his brothers Monk and Buddy, as well as pianist Earl Van Riper and bassist Mingo Jones. All of the tunes here are now regarded as standards, but some were current then, freshly added in that era, such as Shorty Rogers' "Diablo's Dance," Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream," and perhaps most importantly, Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser." The former, recorded in an organ trio format with Melvin Rhyne on the B-3 and Paul Parker on drums, reveals, even at this early date, how well-developed Montgomery's improvisational language was. His reverent opening is ever so gradually replaced by a shimmering movement toward something approaching early soul-jazz, yet his ability to use the instrument's tonal subtleties and harmonic possibilities add a very different dimension to its harmonic architecture. (And while he recorded it several times during his all-too-brief life, this version is the earliest one we now have of him.) The hard swinging "Take the 'A' Train" showcases the already distinctive and innovative voicings on the bass strings Montgomery developed. These examples aside, there isn't a weak or middling moment throughout the proceedings. At this early date as a leader, Montgomery was in command, pushing hard at the Charlie Christian-isms that dominated his playing with Lionel Hampton. Sound quality can be a tiny bit rough in places, but it hardly matters when the material is this fine.