CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index] [ Purchase CDs ][ Film MusicWeb ] [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]


Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



BUY NOW
AmazonUK   AmazonUS

MONTY ALEXANDER

Impressions in Blue

Telarc Jazz CD 83578

 

 




1. Blue Rhapsody
2. En Aranjuez con tu Amor
DUKE REFLECTIONS
3. Come Sunday/David Danced
4. Creole Love Call
WHERE THE TRADE WINDS BLOW
5. Accompong
6. Pointe-à-Pitre
7. Eleuthra
KING COLE REFLECTIONS
8. Jumpin' At Capitol
9. It's Only a Paper Moon
10. Body And Soul
WAY OUT WEST
11. I'm an Old Cowhand
Monty Alexander - Piano
Hassan Shakur - Bass
Mark Taylor - Drums
John Pizzarelli - Guitar (tracks 8-10)

I wonder if there's any jazz style that Monty Alexander can't play. On this album he seems capable of anything: straightforward swing, flamenco, Latin-American, reggae, gospel, and semi-classical. And at the base of it all lie his Jamaican roots, which ensure an undercurrent of exhilarating rhythm. Recorded in December 2002 and originally released in 2003, this album displays the breadth of Monty's talents.

He starts off with what sounds like a rather pompous version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue but it soon develops into a swaying bolero rhythm and then into a swinging four-four. Next comes a fairly free version of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez which takes on the feel of a tango. Monty has grouped the remaining tracks under four different headings, starting with "Duke Reflections", which includes a medley of Duke Ellington's Come Sunday and David Danced, the latter swinging like crazy. Creole Love Call starts with a bouncy rhythm and then goes into some highly lyrical piano from Monty.

The next three numbers evoke Alexander's Caribbean background with exotic beats. I must say that Accampong sounded more powerful on Monty's Jamboree album, but that performance had the benefit of two steel drummers to raise the temperature. Throughout the album, British drummer Mark Taylor is a tower of strength, and Hassan Shakur lays down solid bass lines as well as playing some interesting solos.

Guitarist John Pizzarelli joins the trio for the next three numbers, paying homage to Nat King Cole by capturing exactly the style of his famous trio. Monty recalls the time when he was twelve years old and saw Nat Cole play live in Kingston, Jamaica. The album closes with a cheery version of I'm an Old Cowhand, where Hassan makes his double bass resemble the Ray Brown sound. Altogether, this is an eclectic mixture of music: not only showing Monty's versatility but also his ability to swing in almost any tune.

Tony Augarde

 

 

 


 

 

 

 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months


You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: