Tete Montoliu

En el San Juan

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This 1995 concert represents one of Tete Montoliu's last recordings prior to his death in 1997. What's unusual about this CD is that it is not a solo or trio date, but one with a sextet, which includes drummer Winard Harper, trumpeter Philip Harper, flügelhornist Danny Harper, tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley, and bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa. The blind pianist is in terrific form, particularly in "Muntaner 83 A," his thinly disguised reworking of the standard "On Green Dolphin Street," and his blues-drenched "T'estimo Tant," which showcases Riley. Though the remaining tracks aren't at all familiar, they also bring out the best in the band. The tour de force of the evening is easily the uptempo bop cooker "Blues del San Juan Evangelista" (yet another song derived from the changes to "I Got Rhythm"), in which Danny Harper resembles the attack of Clark Terry. Recorded for the Melopea label, this release may be somewhat challenging to acquire.

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