J.R. Monterose

Straight Ahead

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Originally released by the very obscure Jaro label, this excellent session was saved and reissued by Xanadu on a 1975 LP. The talented but underrated tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose has a rare opportunity to stretch out in a quartet with pianist Tommy Flanagan (who would become a longtime friend), bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Pete La Roca. J.R., whose recording sessions were few and far between during his career, is in top form on five of his offbeat yet logical originals and two standard ballads, sometimes showing a Sonny Rollins influence but mostly sounding fairly distinctive.

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