The Monty Alexander Trio, Montreux Alexander – Live! At The Montreux Festival (1977)
There are some albums I just have to have because they take me back to a time and place – I mean instantly. Just a look at the cover. And that was the case with this. I knew this music because I ordered in a reissued CD when I used to work in music retail many moons ago. I didn’t know a whole heap about Monty Alexander back then – I’d heard some of his more modern/recent recordings; liked them. And I took a punt on this because it was from the 1970s; a chance to go a bit further back and see what he was doing. Such a great album though – such a great trio. John Clayton on the bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums – I’ve followed a lot of his work since first hearing his playing here. And of course Monty. A glorious player I reckon. Touches of Errol Garner here, a bit of Oscar Peterson there (okay, a lot!) and Ahmad Jamal too – all players I love – but this is such a great live set. This trio was the underdog of the bill and they nailed it. You can hear – in that way with great live albums – the crowd is on their side instantly. And stays with them for the duration. The audience is a (huge) part of this album. So important. I can’t lie – I never owned this album, I hadn’t thought of it in years. When I had a copy in the shop I used to run I’d play this when, sole-charge, I wanted to indulge. Sold a couple of copies too – so never got around to buying it myself. Saw the LP just now, earlier today. Wasn’t looking for it as such – but the cover just sat up, announced itself. And a flood of memories came back. And this record came home with me. $10. And in the car. Bargain.
Sample Track: Worksong
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