182

Monty Alexander: Impressions in Blue

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Monty Alexander covers a wide swath of musical territory on Impressions in Blue. The Jamaican-born pianist leads his fine trio (with Hassan Shakur on bass and Mark Taylor on drums) from the Caribbean to Spain to the American West, with stops in the land of Duke and the kingdom of Cole, over the course of the eleven numbers here.

A versatile musician with chops to spare, Alexander is equally at home on adaptations of classical pieces like Rodrigo's "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor" (the oft-recorded composition first made popular by Miles and Gil Evans) and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" as he is on a pair of gospel-tinged Ellington tunes. Of special note are a trio of songs associated with Nat King Cole, which feature some fine swing guitar work from John Pizzarelli, taking time off from those ubiquitous casino commercials.

As an heir to the mainstream piano trio tradition of Oscar Peterson (and Cole and Art Tatum before him), Alexander certainly knows how to swing hard, but there's also an underlying breeziness to his playing that comes to the fore on three original tunes (collectively titled "Where the Trade Winds Blow"), each inspired by a different Caribbean island.

Alexander heads way out west to close this enjoyable journey, following in Sonny Rollins' footsteps with a lighthearted romp through Johnny Mercer's "I'm an Old Cowhand."


Track Listing: Blue Rhapsody; En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor; Come Sunday; Creole Love Call; Accompong; Point-A- Pitre; Eleuthra; Jumpin At Capitol; It

Personnel: Monty Alexander

Title: Impressions in Blue | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Coldest Second Yesterday" CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.