Who needs some great music right about now? Yeah, I thought so…

January 30th, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Given the international ugliness spewing from the Trump administration, we need a musical offset to remind us that there remains much good in life.

I’ve long tapped feet and snapped fingers to the great jazz pianist Monty Alexander. Monty hails from Kingston, Jamaica and he moves effortlessly from hard-bop jazz to the reggae music he grew up with. Moreover, his chops are ridiculous and his groove is deep.

This first piece opens in a funk vein, but around 1:45 hits a hard swing at a nice gallop. That’s Ernest Ranglin on guitar, btw, also from Jamaican and like Monty, totally at home riffing on this seriously uptempo groove.

And just in case, in these fact-free times, you needed evidence of Monty’s reggae roots, there’s this.


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2 comments in reply to "Who needs some great music right about now? Yeah, I thought so…"

  1. Tom Cantlon says:

    I am not very jazz savvy, but like art, I know what I like when I hear it. One of my favorite jazz piano pieces is McCoy Tyner’s “My Favorite Things”. Oh, and there’s some guy named Coltrane on sax, too. I love it for Tyner’s piano, in his solo and behind Coltrane. It’s imaginative and moving in what seems like a most challenging way. Almost no, how to describe it?, right hand lead piano? It’s all done with broad chords. All subtle but still grabs you. The whole thing is great but if you’re ever down, you can’t hardly listen to that low-low-high sequence he has without feeling up. It’s an on top of the world feeling. Very helpful for the time.

    • Jared Bernstein says:

      I’ve been a devoted McCoy T fan since his early album Reaching Fourth–trailblazing stuff and I think he was in his early 20s!