Personnel: Monty Alexander (piano); Hassan Shakur (bass instrument); Robert Thomas, Jr. (drums, percussion); Mark Taylor (drums).
One of the most brilliant of the modern mainstream jazz pianists to emerge since the mid-'60s, Monty Alexander is in top form throughout this 2005 live set. Other than hints of reggae on "Runnin' Away," this is very much a straight-ahead set. While Oscar Peterson is clearly an inspiration, Alexander has long had his own approach, whether digging into "The Work Song," expressing honest emotion on "My Mother's Eyes," or romping on "Happylypso/Funji Mama." With fine support from his rhythm section, Alexander creates a memorable program of music that does not contain a single slow or meandering moment. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow
JazzTimes (p.101) - "Alexander displays the varied influences that have shaped his musical evolution: bop, reggae, calypso, R&B and old-fashioned blues."
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