Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley

Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley

by Monty Alexander
     
 
Monty Alexander has had significant success in recent years with his light, jazzy settings of vintage reggae songs, and while surely no one would begrudge him his enjoyable duo performances with guitar great Ernest Ranglin or his swinging updates of old rocksteady love songs, by covering the songs of Bob Marley he's opening himself up

Overview

Monty Alexander has had significant success in recent years with his light, jazzy settings of vintage reggae songs, and while surely no one would begrudge him his enjoyable duo performances with guitar great Ernest Ranglin or his swinging updates of old rocksteady love songs, by covering the songs of Bob Marley he's opening himself up to criticism for turning what were meant as militant songs of protest into easy listening for well-to-do Babylonians. On the other hand, just because it's easy to listen to doesn't necessarily mean it's simpleminded: his highlife-flavored introduction to "Africa Unite" segues nicely into a rhythmically tough and surprisingly faithful setting of one of Marley's best repatriation anthems, and his bouncy take on "Simmer Down" nicely recalls the Wailers' wonderful early days as a ska band. But best of all is his quiet but intense arrangement of "Babylon System," a rare interpretation of a Marley song that reveals both the anger and the simple heartache that lie at the center of the song -- on "Babylon System" you could hear Marley weeping for the wicked as well as crying out for justice for his people, and that anguish is brilliantly exposed in Alexander's arrangement. Elsewhere, a mento band massacres "Three Little Birds" and the inevitable "War" sheds no new light at all on what was always one of Marley's weakest compositions in terms of pure music, but overall this is an insightful and deeply enjoyable album.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2006
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408363528
catalogNumber:
83635
Rank:
44871

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Monty Alexander   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Melodica
Herlin Riley   Drums
Wayne Armond   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Dean Fraser   Saxophone
Delfeayo Marsalis   Trombone
Dwight Richards   Trumpet
Courtney Panton   Electric Bass
Luciano   Vocals
Othniel "Otty" Lewis   Keyboards
Wendell "Junior Jazz" Ferraro   Guitar,Vocals
Hassan Shakur   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ural Grodon   Vocals
Othniel Lewis   Keyboards
Rolando Alphanso Wilson   Drums
Vincent Hines   Banjo,Vocals
Wendel Ferraro   Guitar,Vocals
Glenroy Browne   Electric Bass
Panchago Christian   Guitar,Vocals
Loris Lawrence   Percussion

Technical Credits

Bob Marley   Composer
Monty Alexander   Composer,Producer,Musical Director,Audio Production
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Composer
Dean Fraser   Horn Arrangements
Elaine Martone   Producer
Robert Friedrich   Engineer
Roger Steffens   Liner Notes
Anilda Carrasquillo   Art Direction
Ed Meitner   Engineer
Glenroy Browne   Audio Production

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