When asked how he's able to switch between the jazz and Jamaican music worlds which he does especially seamlessly with the Harlem-Kingston ExpressAlexander points to a specific bit of music. "There's a song that Bob Marley
wrote called "One Love," you might have heard. Well, that's it. I can't explain it any other way. It's one love. I love both what jazz represents to me; there's that underpinning in that music where I feel the history and the roots of why jazz is what it isthe integrity and the sophistication of that. When I go turn it over, and I start doing what's called the Jamaican experience, I'm also feeling the same thing as far as the value of what that is and why it means so much to me. The whole history of Jamaicathe old folk songs, the African heritage, the heritage from all the people who came there, and the way we talk, what we eatit all goes into every note I play when I'm kind of rocking with the Jamaican experience. So, both worlds. When that moment comes when I turn it over to the one rhythm section or the other, it's like magic, reallyit's a magical thing."
Monty Alexander, Harlem-Kingston Express Live!
Monty Alexander, Uplift
(Jazz Legacy, 2011)
Monty Alexander, Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley
Monty Alexander, Live at the Iridium
Monty Alexander, Rocksteady
Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russell Malone
(Telarc, 2002) Photo Credits
Page 1: Crush Boone
Page 2: Courtesy of Monty Alexander