Maybeck Recital Hall Series, Vol. 40

Monty Alexander

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Maybeck Recital Hall Series, Vol. 40 Review

by Richard S. Ginell

Monty has his own sound and identity when he chooses to pursue it, but here, in Vol. 40 of the Maybeck series, he remains mostly hidden behind the usual bop-and-standards conventions that have come to dominate these concerts. So we get the Tatum flourishes on "Close Enough for Love" and "Speak Low," a mildly introspective Evans-ish "Smile," etc. etc. However, a more individualistic Alexander does come through in spots, like his tune "The Serpent" -- a clever, running ostinato blues -- or the refreshing doo-wop triplets that open and occasionally recur in "For Sentimental Reasons." The most down-home performance per se is the Belafonte hit "Island in the Sun," awith its happy, authentic calypso rhythms and permutations of the theme; this is the first tune to indicate who this fellow is. Of course, Alexander is a fine technician, the piano sound is great, the audience is quite enthusiastic -- and thus, those who know what to expect at Maybeck will be satisfied customers.

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