The Concord Jazz Heritage Series

Monty Alexander

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The Concord Jazz Heritage Series Review

by Scott Yanow

To celebrate their 25th anniversary in 1998, Concord came out with 40 sampler CDs. Pianist Monty Alexander was with the label on and off for over two decades; on this CD, he is heard with five different trios, unaccompanied on "The Serpent," and with the steel drum of Othello in several contexts. Alexander's style was quite mature by the time he debuted on Concord, and he didn't change it much during the 17 years covered by this release, so there is a strong unity to the set. With such sidemen as bassists Ray Brown and John Clayton, guitarist Herb Ellis, drummers Jeff Hamilton and Ed Thigpen and altoist Antoino Hart, Alexander is mostly in the spotlight on the ten selections. Highlights include "I'm Walkin'," "The River," "Secret Love" and the catchy calypso "Sly Mongoose."

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