THE LEGENDARY JAMAICAN PIANO MASTER
Dr. Monty Alexander
Love Notes: From Jamaica to Jazz
At Birdland from January 15-19
Monty Alexander: piano
JJ Shakur: bass
Jason Brown: drums
January 15-19, 2019
315 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-581-3080Frank Sinatra
wrote 'The Kid is a Gas' in the liner notes of Monty's first album Alexander the Great
(1965). It was also in 1965 that Miles Davis
came into Mr. Sinatra's favorite New York City night spot, Jilly's, where I was playing. After I ended the set, he came over and asked me, 'Where did you learn to play that s**t?!' Then he handed me his phone number and said, 'Come on by my house', which I did, on many occasions! A happy and meaningful memory! He continued to visit Jilly's, sitting at the piano bar with friends when I was playing there. He did so on several occasions. I guess he must've liked what he was hearing." —Monty Alexander
In 2001, Monty received the highly-respected Commander of Distinction award from the Government of Jamaica. As jazz royalty, he continues to travel the globe, performing to appreciative, enthusiastic audiences everywhere! Monty was just presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies- making him Dr. Monty Alexander!
In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression.
Jamaican-born pianist Monty Alexander has been thrilling audiences for five decades, including thirteen years of headline performances at the Montreux International Jazz Festival. Fifty-five years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his home town, pianist Monty Alexander is an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. His spirited conception is one informed by the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition, as Alexander accurately states, to build up the heat and kick up a storm." In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies those aesthetics to repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expression-the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae.
Like his eternal inspiration," Erroll Garner
, Alexander-cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time
(Hal Leonard Publishing) and mentioned in Robert Doerschuk's 88: The Giants of Jazz Piano
—gives the hardcore-jazz-obsessed much to dig into while also communicating the message to the squarest civilian."
Photo credit: Joe Martinez, Jazz at Lincoln Center