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Alexander the Great! [Box set]

Monty AlexanderAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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Biography

In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, ... Read more in Amazon's Monty Alexander Store

Visit Amazon's Monty Alexander Store
for 64 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000VAH9XU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,985 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Montevideo
2. Where Is Love
3. Here Comes The Sun
4. Love Walked In
5. Brown Skin Girl
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. We've Only Just Begun
2. I've Never Been In Love Before
3. Theme From Love Story
4. Concerto D'Aranjuez
5. Ben
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. S.K.J.
2. Theme From Summer Of '42
3. Now Is The Time
4. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
5. Feel Like Making Love
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Chameleon
2. Sweet Lady (Aka Unlimited Love)
3. People Make The World Go Round
4. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
5. Bluesology
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(3)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Alexander- The Legendary MPS Recordings November 14, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This artist's fans have been waiting a long time for these justly famous MPS sessions (Musik Produktion Scharzwald) to appear on CD. Although recorded more than 30 years ago it all still sounds fantastic and the clarity on this issue gives us more music! These are not Monty's complete MPS recordings as Rass (1973), Rangylypso (1974 recorded at the same time as "Love and Sunshine" under Ernest Ranglin's leadership), Live In Montreux (1976 re-released separately with bonus material), Cobilimbo (1977), Monty Alexander and Ernest Ranglin (1980 duet album), the Duke Ellington Songbook (1983 duets with bassist John Clayton), and most of Estade (Monty's 1977 vocal tribute to Nat Cole) are all omitted from this set, presumably to be reissued later in a set emphazing the Jamaican roots of his playing. The present set places the emphasis squarely on the incredible jazz trio and quartet (with guitarist Ernest Ranglin) recordings from the 70s.

In 1999, the MPS Archive was handed over to Universal Jazz in Hamburg, Germany so this music has been slow to emerge domestically.

"Love and Sunshine" was previously released on a 2 CD German import called Three Originals (including Cobilimbo and Estate) and half of "Rass" was available on the import CD Ernest Ranglin "Now Is The Time- The Legendary MPS Recordings". Of the original albums included on this 4CD set, only "We've Only Just Begun" is available separately and as a Japanese import, although there is a CD called "The Way It Is" which is just a re-release of material on the live at E.J.'s "Just In Time" 2CD and has nothing to do with the MPS album of the same name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only one that's better (maybe) July 11, 2009
Format:Audio CD
If anyone swings harder than Monty, it's Oscar. But often Monty is the more "engaging" pianist. The Alfred Hitchcock of pianists, I call him, because with each chorus he keeps you guessing. What inventive variation--on the melody, harmony, rhythm, the use of the trio format--is he going to come up with on each passing chorus? Viscerally, you can't help but move with this music; cerebrally it's also immensely satisfying. Like Dizzy, Monty knows that music is a "game," and the best musicians are essentially the best "players."

There's also a close tie to Oscar in other respects. In the 1960s, along with the teams of Ray Brown-Ed Thigpen and Sam Jones-Bobby Durham, Oscar made some of his very best albums for the MPS label; a bit later, Monty would do the same. Moreover, Monty would employ the late Durham in his trio, because the drummer, however deceptively diminutive in stature, was a virtual man of steel, one of the mightiest swingers I've ever heard (drummers were terrified of Oscar, who could drive the most conditioned specimens right into the ground).

You'll hear some of Monty's Jamaican roots on these tracks along with some revelatory "freshening up" of ballads based on songs normally thought of as "period pieces"--for example, the Carpenters' "We've Only Best Begun."

That latter tune is also the title track of one of the albums making up the seven discs, and I'd have to differ from the preceding reviewer only in taking exception to his choice of the most invigorating session of the entire set. For me, "Here Comes the Sun" is tepid Alexander, at least compared to the "We've Only Just Begun" date, recorded in the mid-seventies in mid-winter at a motel (!) in Buffalo, New York. The track that stands out is Jimmy Van Heusen's "It Could Happen to You.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monty Alexander Early Album Remasters April 9, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was pleased with the remastering of early Monty Alexander albums
in this CD set. The quality was excellent and I was happy with
the prompt response to my order.
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