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RADIO

Monty Alexander Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Monty Alexander is back to Bimhuis with his trio after his sold out gig in 2013; a fresh opportunity to catch the famous pianist in an intimate setting. Monty Alexander's playing balances jazz, soul and Caribbean styles such as calypso and reggae. As a teenager the pianist moved from Jamaica to New York. He played with Frank Sinatra and Ray Brown and made his breakthrough as a solo artist in the 1970s. Personnel: Monty Alexander ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens

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Monty Alexander Trio The Ballroom at Longwood Gardens Kennett Square, PA February 11, 2017 It's generally a good sign for any show if the players onstage are smiling and laughing more than anyone else in the room. If there's been one main constant to Monty Alexander's music over his 59-year career, it's an irrepressible positivity that runs through everything in any mode or style. His nimble piano might incorporate the blues and reggae roots of ...

NEW YORK @ NIGHT

Monty Alexander: Looking Back

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Monty AlexanderJazz Standard jny: New York, NYFebruary 1, 2017 A lot has changed since I started covering the New York beat for All About Jazz in mid-2016. In that time, we have witnessed epic changes in our city, our country, our world--changes that are already affecting our culture, including and perhaps especially jazz and, in the broader context, African-American life. How can music journalists remain unaffected? Since the presidential election in November, rather than ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On

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Versatile pianist Monty Alexander has been around long enough, and played through a myriad of styles and ensemble configurations, in a constant quest to get it right. Since his foray back to his Jamaican roots in “Jamento" (1978 Pablo Records) there has been numerous reggae influenced recordings highlighted by his covering the Bob Marley catalog in his 1999 Telarc release “Stir It Up." This struck a nerve with a responding public and rejuvenated his approach and direction, taking it back ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Monty Alexander: Uplift 2: Higher

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This blazing CD is the official follow-up to the splendid Uplift, which in 2011 was one of the first releases from John Lee's fledgling label, Jazz Legacy Productions. Blending Alexander's past and present compadres--referred to here as “two timeless trios"--Higher features seven tracks with the peerless John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, and four with the excellent Hassan Shakur and Frits Landesbergen in those respective roles.As with every other Alexander CD--about 70 to date--this one ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monty Alexander: New York, February 20-March 4, 2012

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Monty Alexander: 50 Years in Music & 50 Years of Jamaica The Blue Note New York, NY February 20-March 4, 2012Monty Alexander set out an ambitious agenda in trying to showcase all the many facets of his 50-year career in music during this two-week stint at the Blue Note. The pianist sure delivered, though, judging by three shows that featured Alexander side-by-side with several of his many collaborators over the years--some of the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monty Alexander's '76 Montreux Trio: New York, NY, February 27, 2012

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Monty Alexander's '76 Montreux TrioBlue NoteNew York, NYFebruary 27, 2012At seventeen years of age, pianist Monty Alexander was plucked from obscurity when Frank Sinatra and his club owner buddy Jilly Rizzo heard him play. The Jamaican-born piano phenom was immediately brought into the big time, performing for and with some of the finest musical personalities in the business, and he went on to establish himself as one of the most engaging ivory ticklers of the ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Monty Alexander

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Monty Alexander has some great things to celebrate in 2012. For one, he's entered his fiftieth year as a professional musician--a remarkable career where he's made an indelible mark in the world of jazz and in the music of his native Jamaica. For another, he had two hugely successful records in the past year that ranked number one in their radio chart categories for weeks, Uplift (JLP, 2011) featuring his jazz trio, and Harlem-Kingston Express: Live! (Motema Music, 2011), featuring ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingston Express Live!

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Many jazz musicians have mined the music of other cultures and countries for new ideas. Many of the most successful combinations have come from importing the music of warmer climates--Afro-Cuban and bossa nova to name but two. Monty Alexander has always done the reverse: a native of Jamaica who played straight-ahead jazz in the States for decades, he has always included some music of his native country in his book. However, for his new group he has gone ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingson Express: Live at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola

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Pianist Monty Alexander has always worn his Jamaican heart on his sleeve, incorporated his country's good time music with jazz for over 50 years. With Harlem-Kingston Express: Live, his Motéma debut, , he ventures even further into reggae territory. Six of the 11 tracks were recorded in 2010 at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola Club in New York City, with this, his most “reggaefied” group yet. A hybrid crew is onboard, stretched out across the club's stage, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Monty Alexander Trio: Toronto, March 5, 2011

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The Monty Alexander TrioKoerner HallToronto, CanadaMarch 5, 2011 For a night of swinging blues, in honor of Oscar Peterson, the Monty Alexander Trio was an ideal choice for the continuing series Aspects of Oscar at Toronto, Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music. The regular trio included bassist Hassan JJ Wiggins Shakur and drummer Winard Harper. To kick things off, each musician of the trio was introduced and started playing an easy swin,g one at ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Monty Alexander: Uplift

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Virtually everyone who plays with pianist Monty Alexander loves the challenge of keeping up with his mischievous music-making and sudden changes in direction. Then there are those quotes--splashes of everything from bugle calls and nursery rhymes to Duke Ellington and “Meet the Flintstones"--that challenge the listeners' repertoire, as well as adding delight and surprise to each track. Who else, for instance, would begin “Sweet Georgia Brown" with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the opera “Carmen"--and make it work? Uplift ...