Monty Alexander

Pianist Monty Alexander, whose fine mix of lyricism and percussive technique has often earned him comparisons to Oscar Peterson, has played in numerous formats during his four-decade career, from solo to classic trio to symphony orchestra. And he's played with a wide range of artists, from Sinatra to Dizzy to Ray Brown and Quincy Jones. But what makes Alexander unique has been his striking blending of jazz and the sounds of the Caribbean, specifically from his native Jamaica. He got his pro start in Kingston studios, and subsequently has revisited Jamaican mento, ska, and reggae. His second volume of Bob Marley's music, 2006's Concrete Jungle (Telarc), features marvelous arrangements of Wailers classics, mingling Alexander's elegant keyboards, scuttling reggae riddims, and adept work from an international band including Jamaican vocalist Luciano and New Orleans trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis. The Marley stuff should be prominent during these trio gigs, but the trade winds could easily blow the way of Ellington, Gershwin, or Nat King Cole. $25 at 7:00 p.m.; $15 at 9:30 p.m.
Mondays, Tuesdays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 4. Continues through Feb. 5, 2008

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