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

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

by Monty Alexander

SACD(Super Audio CD - SACD Hybrid)

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

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/2008
Label: Chesky Records
UPC: 0090368034069
catalogNumber: 340
Rank: 70855

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
Dudley Wilkinson   Composer
Rick Eckerle   Engineer
Nicholas Prout   Engineer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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