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Monty Alexander|Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's (Live)

Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's (Live)

Monty Alexander

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Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's is an archival outing from pianist Monty Alexander's personal collection, issued by the venerable jazz sleuths at Resonance Records. Captured in 1982 at the Miami, Florida venue via mobile unit by the late Mack Emerman (founder of Miami's legendary Criteria Recording Studios), it showcases the Jamaican-born Alexander and his road band at a creative, hard-swinging peak. Bubba's was one of his regular touring spots. His touring rhythm section that year consisted of drummer Duffy Jackson (who worked with the pianist regularly from 1972 to 1992), and longtime percussionist Robert Thomas, Jr. (Weather Report, Word of Mouth Big Band, the Zawinul Syndicate), who has worked with Alexander for four decades. Bassist Paul Berner met the pianist in 1981, and left Lionel Hampton's employ to join his quartet -- that week. The 92-minute, impeccably recorded program offers undeniable proof of Alexander's commanding stylistic range: Alongside jazz tunes, originals, and pop standards are sambas and reggae tunes offered with masterful execution. The set opener is a sprightly reading of the Burt Bacharach/Christopher Cross theme for the hit film Arthur from 1981. The bubbling drum kit and hand percussion offer a hotter tempo as Alexander harmonically redevelops the instantly recognizable melody as a platform for melodic improvisation, aided by Berner's rock-solid timekeeping. Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly" is delivered in relaxed, open swing, with gentle, popping accents from Jackson. The band shifts gears again on Luiz Bonfá's magical "Samba de Orfeu." Alexander crisscrosses bop, classical, and swing, with fleet arpeggios, crystalline ostinatos, and a driving left hand. The rhythm section enters into a deft, wildly syncopated conversation that ratchets the drama and intensity without losing sight of the carnival melody. The pianist and group offer three originals, beginning with the elegant ballad "Sweet Lady," followed by the transcendent, calypso-flavored "Eleuthra" and the bubbling, punchy "Reggae Later," which melds Basie-esque blues to Horace Silver-esque funk and driving Trenchtown reggae. Milt Jackson's "Blues for Edith" is delivered as a strutting, hard bop shuffle succeeded by an uptempo, finger-popping take on Blue Mitchell's calypso-cum-soul-jazz classic "Fungii Mama." Alexander and company pull out all the stops on an astonishing, frenetic read of Richard Evans' "Montevideo" (it was originally recorded by Alexander's longtime friend Ahmad Jamal in 1962) in a meld of Latin and Caribbean styles. After an elegant, mysterious version of "Body and Soul," Alexander and crew return to fleet-fingered bebop on Harold Mooney's "Swamp Fire," where the pianist quotes from Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Bud Powell. They close with Milt Jackson's deft, punchy blues "SKJ," which includes a fine solo from Berner. This wonderfully packaged set also includes a booklet featuring artist interviews, essays, and myriad rare photos. Love You Madly is, in a word, outstanding. Even among Alexander's many live recordings, it is a remarkable example of his group firing on all cylinders and delivering the material with grit, taste, and obvious delight. All killer, no filler.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's (Live)

Monty Alexander

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1
Arthur's Theme (Live)
00:07:41

Burt Bacharach, Composer, Writer - Christopher Cross, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist - Carole Sager Bayer, Composer, Writer - Peter Allen Woolnough, Composer, Writer

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

2
Love You Madly (Live)
00:08:07

Monty Alexander, MainArtist - Duke Edward Ellington, Composer, Writer

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

3
Samba De Orfeu (Live)
00:06:26

Antonio Maria, Composer, Writer - Luiz Bonfa, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

4
Sweet Lady (Live)
00:05:57

Monty Alexander, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

5
Eleuthra (Live)
00:09:35

Monty Alexander, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

6
Reggae Later (Live)
00:07:49

Monty Alexander, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

7
Blues for Edith (Live)
00:06:45

Milt Jackson, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

8
Fungii Mama (Live)
00:10:07

Monty Alexander, MainArtist - Richard Allen Mitchell, Composer, Writer

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

9
Consider (Live)
00:06:05

Monty Alexander, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

10
Montevideo (Live)
00:07:06

Richard Evans, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

11
Body and Soul (Live)
00:07:21

Edward Heyman, Composer, Writer - John Green, Composer, Writer - Robert Sour, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

12
Swamp Fire (Live)
00:03:53

Monty Alexander, MainArtist - Harold Mooney, Composer, Writer

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

13
SKJ (Live)
00:04:55

Milt Jackson, Composer, Writer - Monty Alexander, MainArtist

© 2020 Resonance Records ℗ 2020 Resonance Records

Album Description

Love You Madly: Live at Bubba's is an archival outing from pianist Monty Alexander's personal collection, issued by the venerable jazz sleuths at Resonance Records. Captured in 1982 at the Miami, Florida venue via mobile unit by the late Mack Emerman (founder of Miami's legendary Criteria Recording Studios), it showcases the Jamaican-born Alexander and his road band at a creative, hard-swinging peak. Bubba's was one of his regular touring spots. His touring rhythm section that year consisted of drummer Duffy Jackson (who worked with the pianist regularly from 1972 to 1992), and longtime percussionist Robert Thomas, Jr. (Weather Report, Word of Mouth Big Band, the Zawinul Syndicate), who has worked with Alexander for four decades. Bassist Paul Berner met the pianist in 1981, and left Lionel Hampton's employ to join his quartet -- that week. The 92-minute, impeccably recorded program offers undeniable proof of Alexander's commanding stylistic range: Alongside jazz tunes, originals, and pop standards are sambas and reggae tunes offered with masterful execution. The set opener is a sprightly reading of the Burt Bacharach/Christopher Cross theme for the hit film Arthur from 1981. The bubbling drum kit and hand percussion offer a hotter tempo as Alexander harmonically redevelops the instantly recognizable melody as a platform for melodic improvisation, aided by Berner's rock-solid timekeeping. Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly" is delivered in relaxed, open swing, with gentle, popping accents from Jackson. The band shifts gears again on Luiz Bonfá's magical "Samba de Orfeu." Alexander crisscrosses bop, classical, and swing, with fleet arpeggios, crystalline ostinatos, and a driving left hand. The rhythm section enters into a deft, wildly syncopated conversation that ratchets the drama and intensity without losing sight of the carnival melody. The pianist and group offer three originals, beginning with the elegant ballad "Sweet Lady," followed by the transcendent, calypso-flavored "Eleuthra" and the bubbling, punchy "Reggae Later," which melds Basie-esque blues to Horace Silver-esque funk and driving Trenchtown reggae. Milt Jackson's "Blues for Edith" is delivered as a strutting, hard bop shuffle succeeded by an uptempo, finger-popping take on Blue Mitchell's calypso-cum-soul-jazz classic "Fungii Mama." Alexander and company pull out all the stops on an astonishing, frenetic read of Richard Evans' "Montevideo" (it was originally recorded by Alexander's longtime friend Ahmad Jamal in 1962) in a meld of Latin and Caribbean styles. After an elegant, mysterious version of "Body and Soul," Alexander and crew return to fleet-fingered bebop on Harold Mooney's "Swamp Fire," where the pianist quotes from Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Bud Powell. They close with Milt Jackson's deft, punchy blues "SKJ," which includes a fine solo from Berner. This wonderfully packaged set also includes a booklet featuring artist interviews, essays, and myriad rare photos. Love You Madly is, in a word, outstanding. Even among Alexander's many live recordings, it is a remarkable example of his group firing on all cylinders and delivering the material with grit, taste, and obvious delight. All killer, no filler.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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