The Good Life: Monte Alexander Plays the Songs of Tony Bennett

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Monty Alexander has always been a fine jazz pianist, but in recent years he has received more popular acclaim for interpreting the reggae music of his native Jamaica. While his reggae efforts are well done, straight-ahead jazz and interpreting standards are really his forte. For The Good Life, Alexander has chosen to riff on tunes from the repertoire of Tony Bennett -- not the most popular or well-known, or even written by the singer -- but a good cross section of his set list over the decades. The Chicago-based rhythm team of veteran drummer George Fludas and up-and-coming bassist Lorin Cohen (cousin and bandmate of pianist Ryan Cohan) gives Alexander all the supple ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Monty Alexander has always been a fine jazz pianist, but in recent years he has received more popular acclaim for interpreting the reggae music of his native Jamaica. While his reggae efforts are well done, straight-ahead jazz and interpreting standards are really his forte. For The Good Life, Alexander has chosen to riff on tunes from the repertoire of Tony Bennett -- not the most popular or well-known, or even written by the singer -- but a good cross section of his set list over the decades. The Chicago-based rhythm team of veteran drummer George Fludas and up-and-coming bassist Lorin Cohen (cousin and bandmate of pianist Ryan Cohan) gives Alexander all the supple support and equal dynamism his playing demands. It's safe to say that listeners will enjoy the more refined, easy swinging numbers such as "Smile," the light bossa treatment of "Maybe September," and the tender ballad "Emily." This is what the elegant Alexander does best, playing 'round midnight affirmations, romantic advances, and subtle harmonies. But as the CD hums along, the pianist becomes more assertive -- the kind of animation Alexander is always capable of but rarely shows -- as on "Just in Time," where he trades phrases with Fludas, displays energy, and digs in. The trio does "Put on a Happy Face" in a loping, crafted manner, seasoned by the years, and presents a doleful blues on "I Wanna Be Around," which is the tune most identified with Bennett. A little Latin spice bumps up the traipsing "That Old Devil Moon," and a horse-trot rhythm courtesy of Fludas inspires "The Good Life." As in the tradition of Chesky Records, this session was recorded with a single 360-degree microphone, done at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in N.Y.C., and the sound is pristine. Turn up the volume a few notches to hear the precious, full, rich, bountiful sound Alexander and his group are putting down.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • Label: Chesky Records
  • UPC: 090368034069
  • Catalog Number: 340
  • Sales rank: 89,588

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 That Old Devil Moon (5:32)
  2. 2 The Good Life (5:07)
  3. 3 Smile (7:09)
  4. 4 Maybe September (6:10)
  5. 5 The Way You Look Tonight (6:40)
  6. 6 Just a Little Street (3:38)
  7. 7 Just in Time (4:19)
  8. 8 Emily (3:06)
  9. 9 Put on a Happy Face (6:05)
  10. 10 I Wanna Be Around (4:39)
  11. 11 Once Upon a Time (3:17)
  12. 12 Because of You (2:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Monty Alexander Primary Artist, Piano
George Fludas Drums
Technical Credits
Percy Faith Composer
Monty Alexander Liner Notes
David Chesky Producer
Sacha Distel Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Norman Chesky Executive Producer
Betty Comden Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Adolph Green Composer
Arthur Hammerstein Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Burton Lane Composer
Johnny Mandel Composer
Jack Reardon Composer
Charles Strouse Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Sadie Vimmerstadt Composer
Geoff Parsons Composer
Dudley Wilkinson Composer
Rick Eckerle Engineer
Nicholas Prout Engineer
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