For whatever reason, although I really like piano trios as every regular reader of my blog will have understood by now, Monty Alexander flew under the radar screen for me until rather recently
Luckily, some other music lovers pointed me to him, and the trigger for purchasing this particular album was fellow Jazz addict JoeWhip’s entry to Audiostream’s Lovely Recordings, a new feature on the site: (The rest of his list is also very much worth exploring, I had a bit more than half of it already and purchased most of the rest after reading the list).
Montreux Alexander Live! (MPS 1985/2014)
What a nice recommendation!
Live albums often are either really good or really dull. The dull ones often just try to hard, or don’t really capture the spirit and feeling of the concert and leave you uninvolved. The good ones are just the opposite.
Luckily, the latter applies here, you feel like you’re actually sitting in the concert and the groove get’s you immediately.
Jeff Hamilton is a great asset obviously, his ability to make any kind of music swing is just outstanding (he also plays, in a very similar style on Ray Brown Live At the Loa, one of my 25 Essential Jazz albums).
John Clayton is not that well known, but he is a Ray Brown pupil and you can hear it.
I can only agree with JoeWhip on his assessment that this is music that will make you smile no matter how down you are.
My rating: 4 stars
You can find it here (Qobuz)