Monty Alexander's career was beginning to take off at the time of this 1971 club date at the Monticello in Rochester, NY. Accompanied by Dave Brubeck's former bassist, Eugene Wright, and veteran drummer Bobby Durham, who was recording extensively with Oscar Peterson, the young pianist kicks off the set with an ambitious, quote-filled rendition of a great standard "It Could Happen to You." The inclusion of several familiar popular tunes of the period, namely Michel Legrand's haunting "Summer of '42 Theme," Henry Mancini's bittersweet "Love Story Theme," and even "We've Only Just Begun" (a mega-hit for the Carpenters which actually began life as background music for a bank commercial), doesn't detract from the album in the least, due to Alexander's imaginative approaches to each of the tunes. The one original of the date is Alexander's funky "Monticello." This well-recorded date has been out of print since BASF quit manufacturing records in the U.S. in the mid-'70s, so it may be somewhat difficult to acquire.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden