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Catching Up With

Monty Alexander

By Published: February 15, 2012
When asked how he's able to switch between the jazz and Jamaican music worlds— which he does especially seamlessly with the Harlem-Kingston Express—Alexander 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 is—the 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 Jamaica—the old folk songs, the African heritage, the heritage from all the people who came there, and the way we talk, what we eat—it 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, really—it's a magical thing."

Selected Discography

Monty Alexander, Harlem-Kingston Express Live! (Motéma, 2011)

Monty Alexander, Uplift (Jazz Legacy, 2011)

Monty Alexander, Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley (Telarc, 2005)

Monty Alexander, Live at the Iridium (Telarc, 2005)

Monty Alexander, Rocksteady (Telarc, 2004)

Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russell Malone (Telarc, 2002)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Crush Boone

Page 2: Courtesy of Monty Alexander
Monty Alexander
Monty Alexander
b.1944
piano


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