Tete Montoliu

The Man from Barcelona

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The blind Catalonian pianist Tete Montoliu is in top form throughout this 1990 trio date with bassist George Mraz and drummer Lewis Nash, though the label evidently didn't get around to releasing it until a few years after his death. The session draws from standards and timeless jazz compositions, all played with Montoliu's inventive touch. He throws quite a few twists into his complex setting of "Stella by Starlight," shows off his chops in an intense workout of "Autumn Leaves," and pulls out all stops with the furious rendition of "A Night in Tunisia." The pianist's lyrical side is showcased in ballads like "Easy Living" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Montoliu returns to a bit of flashy playing in his original blues composition "Please I Like to Be Gentle." Mraz has numerous solos, all of which are up to his standard, while Nash provides terrific support throughout the recording. Highly recommended!

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