"AIN'T NECESSARILY SO" ANDY BEY 12TH STREET RECORDS
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Song stylist Andy Bey is a very special kind of singer with a wide range and unusual rhythmic patterns. For some, Bey may be an acquired taste, but he always makes his point.
This release is of material he recorded in 1997 in a live Birdland performance. He accompanies himself on piano with the help of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington.
To understate a point — Bey sings with emotion. So much so, his pain becomes your pain and his joy, also yours. His program is tailored to do just that with songs including "All The Things You Are," "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," and "If I Should Lose You." The killer track is "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" Bey pulls the heart strings with his phrasing and mixed-in scat. Finally, as he nears the end, he vocalizes what a tenor player would play. Bey is a master!
"THELONIOUS MONK LIVE AT THE 1964 MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL" MJF
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This just released material is an opportunity to hear piano innovator Thelonious Monk at his best and working with some of his favorite musicians.
The first four tracks; "Blue Monk," "Evidence," "Bright Mississippi," and "Rhythm A Ning" feature Monk along with tenorist Charlie Rouse, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Ben Riley. Those tunes are played to perfection. Perhaps a tiny bit of energy evident in those early tracks is missing on the last two; "Think of One," and "Straight No Chaser."
The original Monk quintet is joined by the Monterey Festival workshop players. They include trumpeters Bobby Bryant and Melvin Moore; trombonist Lou Blackburn, baritone saxophonist Jack Nimitz and saxophonist Buddy Collette. Monk shines in both settings.
"TEMPLE OF THE OLYMPIC ZEUS" ERIC ALEXANDER HIGHNOTE
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Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander is my favorite living tenor player and the tenor has been my favorite instrument ever since I overcame my infantile fascination with the drum.
Maybe because I have been listening hard to tenors for the past 65 years, in Alexander's playing I can hear reverberations from the long, middle and short past. He embodies all the reasons why I always have preferred Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins to the great Lester Young.
Alexander plays with a lusty full blown resonance that emanates a strong masculine sound. One can hear all of this on his opener, the title tune, "The Temple of the Olympic Zeus." By no means rule out Alexander as a sensitive player. He treats ballads; "Some Other Time," "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life," with the depth each deserves.
His band mates are those he frequently works with including the young master trumpeter, Jim Rotondi; pianist David Hazeltime, bassist Nat Reeves and Joe Farnsworth on drums.
Dick Bogle hosts a weekly jazz radio show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays on KMHD 89.1 FM. He can be reached at email@example.com