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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released July 29, 2016 | MPS

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Jazz - Released December 16, 2016 | MPS

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Jazz - Released May 13, 2016 | MPS

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Jazz - Released April 18, 2008 | Disques Black & Blue

Reissued on CD in 1998, this long-unavailable session was Monty Alexander's earliest recorded set of unaccompanied piano solos. He had recorded as a leader since 1965 but usually with trios. Alexander, who mixes together the influence and technique of Oscar Peterson with his Caribbean heritage and his own musical imagination, has been a masterful pianist from the start, so playing solo certainly did not faze him. The repertoire includes some then-current pop tunes (including Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" and "The Way We Were" which Alexander somehow uplifts) with romps on "St. Thomas," "So What," and a few originals. A very successful effort. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released August 23, 2019 | MACD Monty Alexander

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Concord Records

From 1963-1967, pianist Monty Alexander played regularly at Jilly's in New York City, a popular hangout where Frank Sinatra would occasionally drop in and, on very rare occasions, sing a song or two. This trio set with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Troy Davis gives Alexander an opportunity to pay tribute to both Jilly's and Sinatra. Performing 13 of the many hundreds of songs associated with the singer, Alexander plays melodic and swinging versions of such tunes as "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Just One of Those Things," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Come Fly with Me," and "Here's That Rainy Day," among others. The songs are mostly pretty familiar, and Alexander does not stretch himself all that much (the only real departure is his haunting unaccompanied melodica solo on "Strangers in the Night"), but his renditions are quite enjoyable and accessible. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released July 24, 2007 | Jeton

Back in the '20s and early '30s -- when stride piano reigned supreme -- it wasn't uncommon for jazz pianists to perform unaccompanied. In fact, it was the norm for James P. Johnson, who was one of the greatest stride pianists of that era and was a major influence on Fats Waller and many others. But for bop pianists, performing unaccompanied is the exception instead of the rule; so when a major bop-oriented pianist decides to record without either a bassist or a drummer, it is a special treat. And the solo piano format serves Monty Alexander pleasingly well on Solo, a collection of unaccompanied performances from 1980 and 1987. Because he doesn't have to worry about what any other musicians are doing or thinking, Alexander has plenty of room to move around his instrument freely -- and the Jamaican pianist sounds delightfully uninhibited on several original pieces as well as inspired performances of Oscar Pettiford's "Tricotism," the standard "My One and Only Love," and the Nat King Cole hit "Mona Lisa" (a gem that, although quite famous, hasn't been totally beaten to death by jazz instrumentalists over the years). Alexander briefly acknowledges the pre-bebop history of jazz piano on "Too Marvellous," which starts out as a bop performance but detours into some stride-influenced playing of the James P. Johnson/Willie "The Lion" Smith variety. And the three-part "Boogie Variations" is Alexander's spirited tribute to the boogie-woogie pianism of Meade "Lux" Lewis and his colleagues. But Solo is a bop disc first and foremost -- and it is also a memorable demonstration of what Alexander is capable of doing by himself. ~ Alex Henderson
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Jazz - Released August 3, 1970 | Verve Reissues

Jazz - Released December 31, 1986 | Soul Note

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For this fairly obscure Soul Note album, pianist Monty Alexander is joined by the virtuosic bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Grady Tate who contributes warm baritone ballad vocals to "A Weaver Of Dreams" and "All Blues." Alexander gets in his best playing on his own "Renewal" and "I'll Remember April"; in addition the trio plays a composition apiece by Wes Montgomery and Milt Jackson. The music is what one would expect from Monty Alexander: Oscar Peterson- style bop with some chancetaking and hints of his Jamaican heritage. A tasteful effort. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1984 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Concord Records, Inc.

Monty Alexander Meets Sly and Robbie beat the odds. When jazz pianists try to get in a reggae groove, the result usually sounds a little bit absurd, like a socialite trying to pass for street. (The same doesn't seem to hold true for jazz guitarists -- Ernest Ranglin has been walking both sides of that particular street for decades.) But when Alexander got together with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare in 2000 for a set of jazz-wise instrumental reggae, their sounds meshed nicely. On the live Goin' Yard, the odds catch up with him. The album's title, a cutesy baseball/Rastaspeak pun, gives a hint of what's to come -- a meeting of Jamaican and American culture that swings for the fences but doesn't always connect. Interestingly, the best numbers are the reggae ones -- there's a slightly eerie arrangement of the Bob Marley classic "Could You Be Loved" and a surprisingly effective rendition of "King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown" (originally recorded as a dub mix of Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So," and widely considered the finest dub side ever made). But on the jazzier material, Alexander seems to soften up. "The Serpent" is slithery but soggy, while "Sight Up!" finds him alternating barrelhouse licks with decorous parlor jazz lines while a gently pumping rockers beat chugs along below. The result is somehow less than the sum of its parts, which is unfortunately true of the album as a whole. It's far from unpleasant, but not really anything special, either. Maybe if Sly and Robbie had been on the gig.... ~ Rick Anderson
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | Concord Records

Steaming Hot serves as an appropriate title for the repackaging of two of pianist Monty Alexander's albums from 1985 and 1995, Full Steam Ahead and Steamin'. Both are trio sets, the first with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Frank Gant, the latter with bassist Ira Coleman and drummer Dion Parson, and serve as a complementary pair. These nice, spare settings give Alexander plenty of room to showcase his melodic style of straightforward jazz. He's aided by a set list that draws from familiar jazz standards like Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader" and Hammerstein & Kern's "Make Believe," but just as often draws from material outside the canon. Imagine, for example, a mainstream jazz band holding forth on Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" or Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself." While these tracks may seem a bit out of left field, they sound -- in the hands of these trios -- like good jazz. These tracks also keep the listener's attention. On Steamin', Alexander also includes two of his own compositions, "Dear Diz" and "Tucker Avenue Stomp." Steaming Hot offers a fine introduction to Alexander's work for Concord during the '80s and '90s, and serves as a fine testament to the durable form of the piano trio. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.
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Jazz - Released April 8, 2014 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released June 14, 2011 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released May 30, 2006 | Kingston Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Jamaican-born Monty Alexander's Oscar Peterson-styled piano runs would seem an unlikely fit for reggae rhythms, but with albums like Yard Movement (the album that launched the Island Jazz imprint), Alexander (along with guitarist Ernest Ranglin, who is featured here) has played in huge role in defining what has to be called (for lack of a better term) "jazz reggae." Essentially smooth bop laid in over heavy reggae basslines, the tracks on Yard Movement (recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1995) work surprisingly well, grooving and shifting directions with a deceptive ease, and Ranglin's bright, bubbly guitar is a continual delight throughout. The opener is the grandstand track here, a 12-minute-plus version of the Exodus movie theme that gradually transforms into a magnificent run-through of Bob Marley's "Exodus." It may have been a mistake to lead the set with this one, though, since everything that follows seems to be a diminishment in comparison to it, which is a shame, because cuts like "Moonlight City," "Strawberry Hill," and "Sneaky Steppers" have their own charm. Fans of hardcore roots reggae may find what Alexander and Ranglin are doing here a little too refined and smooth, but from a jazz perspective, these cuts exhibit an edgy punch that points toward a refreshing synthesis. Both Alexander and Ranglin would go on to make more albums in this vein, but Yard Movement, particularly in the "Exodus" improvisation, created both a template and a benchmark. ~ Steve Leggett